Cornell Scientists Study New Apple Disease Unaffected by Pasteurization

In *All, Agricultural Systems by Ag is America

 A recently-published study sheds light on a newly found disease affecting one of America’s most beloved and popular products: apples. Led by Cornell University researchers, the study details the discovery of an apple disease. Like some diseases, this one is contagious, and can lead to mass spoilage of food that contracts it, with apples as the carrier.

The researchers infected apples with mold, leading to rot rings developing on the exterior. Upon further examination, spores of the disease were forming inside the cores. These fungal spores can withstand heat as high as 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Those live spores can then contaminate other nearby foods on the store shelves, leading to mass spoilage.

The solution to this problem, say researchers, can be as easy as harvesters not picking compromised apples. “The most effective way we can prevent apple spoilage from this mold is to cull apples with wounds and bruises that makes them likely to get this, and to never use dropped apples, the ones that people pick up off the ground,” said Megan Biango-Daniels, a Cornell doctoral student.

So what’s the next step? Researchers will continue testing processed and pasteurized apple products to see just how tough this fungus really is.

To learn more, click here.

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