May 13 – National Apple Pie Day: Getting to the core of NIFA-funded Apple research

Apples are the most consumed fruit in the United States, followed by oranges. In 2019, average US per capita consumption of all forms of apples increased to about 26.3 pounds. Per capita consumption of apple juice and apple juice decreased to 12.6 pounds. The consumption of fresh apples on the market in 2019 reached 10 pounds, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Factors that contribute to increased consumption of apple and apple products include new varieties, increased income, expansion of production in the United States, an increase and diversity of the population, products that better meet consumer lifestyles, and increased awareness of the inclusion of fruit in a healthy diet. As we celebrate National Apple Pie Day, we appreciate some of the land-grant universities that conduct research on apples with support from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA):

Specialty crop growers rely on manual labor for fruit picking, inspection, data collection and other labor-intensive tasks. Using computer vision technology and artificial intelligence, University Minnesota Researchers have developed a new set of tools that focus on two tasks: counting apples in an orchard and measuring their diameter — both essential to helping farmers make decisions about labor and sales needs. Through the use of a startup, these new technologies can go directly from the lab to the farm.

Apples make up about 25% of all fruit eaten in the United States. A new platform with data from more than 100 apple varieties could cut years off the breeding process and enable data-based assessments of how to boost the health benefits of America’s favorite fruit. Developed by a team from Ohio State University scientists, the platform combines genes underlying specific traits with information on hundreds of chemical compounds — from sugars and acids to a range of antioxidants — in the fruit that help make apples a healthy food.

By showing the relationships between genes and compounds in apple fruits known as phytochemicals, the platform has the potential to take some of the guesswork and time out of the breeding process. It usually takes about seven years to go from mating a parent cultivar to first taste testing a new apple variety, and it can take decades to create an entirely new variety. Additionally, supplemental research on phytochemicals that may provide health benefits could give researchers a head start on studies to confirm which compounds offer the best chance of developing a more nutritious apple.

Although multiple interventions have been used to reduce potential pathogens on the surface of apples, there is limited information available regarding their true efficacy when performed under conditions common in commercial packing houses. bacteria Listeria monocytogenes They are notorious for contaminating produce because they can live in many different environments. L. monocytogenes It is of particular importance for fresh apples, as recent outbreaks have led to multiple recalls and hospital admissions.

Scientists in Washington State University has evaluated several antimicrobial disinfectants that have been distributed to apple packing lines using a spray strip setup that is common in the industry. Disinfectants using peroxyacetic acid (PAA) formulations can achieve an approximate 100-fold reduction in L. monocytogenes Bacteria when used at elevated temperatures and under industry relevant concentrations/contact times. PAA’s ability to fight effectively L. monocytogenes They have been validated both in the experimental model and in multiple commercial fill lines. Because L. monocytogenes Very difficult to eradicate once established, these data provide valuable parameters of basic sanitation efficacy, which may allow further discovery and use of alternative approaches to control foodborne pathogens.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *