Apple Rots Reappear Because of Fungicide Cancellations


Core rot

Core rot


Many storage rots of apples are actually initiated in the orchard. There are often no pre-harvest symptoms. Core rot is a wet rot that spreads into the flesh of the apple. Core rot can be controlled with spring fungicide sprays in the orchard. However, core rot has reappeared in some Australian apples in storage due to cancellation of some key fungicides.

“In the last couple of months I have attended to a couple incidences of core rot in apples that have arrived in their destination market. This is not a pretty sight and costs the packer/marketers both in financial and brand terms, not to mention degradation of Australia’s reputation as a supplier of quality fruit.

This situation has probably arisen due to low levels of core rots being encountered in the last 15 or so years. This has meant that this problem has slipped from our memories and we have forgotten that in the 1980s core rot could be present in up to 20 per cent of our fruit. This level of infection cannot be tolerated in today’s marketing environment. Its re-appearance is probably due to the de-registration of both Benlate and Rovral for spraying onto the apple flowers, a treatment in common use in the 1990s and 2000s for the control of core rots.”

Author: Brown, G.
Affiliation: Technical Editor.
Title: Getting to the core of the problem: Core rots.
Source: Australian Fruitgrower. September 2012. Pgs. 12-15.

Toxins Appear in Apple Juice Due to Fungicide Cancellations

Contaminated Apple

Apple Contaminated by Penicillium expansum

Patulin is a mycotoxin that is produced by certain species of molds that may grow on a variety of foods. Patulin does not appear to pose a safety concern with the exception of apple juice; patulin present in apple juice survives the pasteurization process.

The US FDA conducted a review of the toxicological studies on patulin and this found that patulin is toxic upon repeated administration of oral doses around 1.5 mg/kg body weight (bw), which caused premature death in rats.

“In March this year, a consignment of Australian apple juice was tested in Japan and found to have unacceptably high levels of the toxin patulin in it.

The initial critical control point for reducing the risk of patulin contamination of apples is the control of P. expansum in the orchard.

In recent times P. expansum has been well controlled in the orchard and in postharvest by applications and drenches of Benomyl and its related fungicide carbendazim. Unfortunately these products have been removed from the market due to pesticide safety concerns such that the risk of high levels of mycotoxins on the fruit has increased.”

Author: Brown, G.
Affiliation: Technical Editor.
Title: Are your fruit safe for juice? Patulin – the toxic substance found in juice fruit.
Source: Australian Fruitgrower. June 2012.