Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Cullage Assessment & Education

Quick Identification Guide to Apple Postharvest Defects & Disorders

Physiological Disorders

The Physiological Disorders section of the card set includes most the common disorders of physiological origins found during the sorting and packing of Washington apples. Bitter pit, scalds and lenticel conditions are just a few of the items presented in this section. At a later date more cards may be developed for this section which would include any emerging or reclassified disorders. For ordering information visit the Order Information section of the Introduction. The cards shown on this site are slightly modified to accomodate web formatting. Figures may appear fragmented in some browsers. Please report viewing problems here. Any reproduction of the card images or content without permission is in violation of WSU Copyright policies.




Bitter Pit

Bitter Pit (BP) is a disorder that begins in the orchard and is related to low calcium. Affected cells gradually die, but fruit may show no sign externally at harvest. Early external symptoms begin as slightly water-soaked spots or patches, later developing into darker, sunken spots as the tissue below dies and begins to desiccate. Below the skin, the affected flesh is brown and corky, which distinguishes BP from other disorders. This disorder is easily confused with stink bug damage or lenticel blotch pit. The symptoms are usually on

the lower half of the fruit, unlike stink bug damage. However, in severe cases, the spotting may extend to the upper half as well.

Figure 1: A Granny Smith showing spots which are larger and more diffuse with irregular edges.

Figure 2: A Golden Delicious with the more common pinpoint-type spots.

Bitter Pit





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