University of California

Fruit Physiological Disorders


Pear: Watery Breakdown

Page

 

Bartlett Pear Watery Breakdown
Bartlett Pear Watery Breakdown
Occurrence
Watery breakdown can develop in fresh pears, especially the ‘Bartlett' variety, during storage and/or ripening following even short periods in cold storage. Watery breakdown can involve any part of the fruit, being most common in the tissue around the blossom end of the fruit. In California, the problem is more severe in some seasons, suggesting that a climatic relationship exists.

Importance
In some seasons in California, watery breakdown has affected as much as 10% of fruit destined for processing. Affected fruit are not useable for either processing or fresh eating, and leakage from affected fruit can soil surrounding healthy fruit.

Symptoms
Watery breakdown, as the name implies, is a soft, watery deterioration of affected tissue. When the affected tissue is cut or punctured, juice flows out of the fruit. Typically, the involved tissue is in the outer portions of the flesh, but in severe cases can move into the core tissue. The affected tissue is not discolored during early stages, but becomes brown with time.

It is thought that the random pattern of symptoms development on individual fruits is related to other stresses that occur during handling (in tests, impacted fruits developed watery breakdown around the bruised area). Causes: The soft, watery breakdown results from softening of the affected tissue. Fruit that are cooled slowly and/or held at too warm a temperature are most severely affected by this disorder. Fruit of any maturity can be affected, but high maturity fruit appear to be most susceptible.

Control
Cool fruit as soon as possible following harvest, and hold them at as low a temperature as possible without danger of freezing. To minimize the incidence of watery breakdown, fruit should be cooled to near storage temperature within 1 day of harvest, and held at 0°C (32°F) or below for up to one-month storage, or -1°C (30°F) for longer storage.

Check the soluble solids concentration in the core area (lowest soluble solids content) to determine the lowest safe storage temperature for each lot of pears.

References
Mitchell, F. G. and G. Mayer. 1972. Watery breakdown of ‘Bartlett' pear. Calif. Agric. 27(5):6-8.

Mitchell, F. G. 1992. Postharvest handling systems: Temperate Zone Tree Fruits (Pome Fruits and Stone Fruits). Chap. 24, pp. 215-222. In: Kader, A. A., ed., Postharvest Technology of Horticulturual Crops. Univ. Calif. Div. Agr. & Nat. Resources. Pub. 3311.

Date

1972 & 1992

Use of Materials

The UC Postharvest Technology Center grants users permission to download textual pages (including PDF files) from this World Wide Web site for personal use or to reproduce them for educational purposes, but credit lines and copyright notices within the pages must not be removed or modified.

Except for these specified uses, no part of the textual materials available on the UC Postharvest Technology Center Web site may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, further transmitted or otherwise reproduced, stored, disseminated, transferred or used, in any form or by any means, except as permitted herein or with the University of California's prior written agreement. Request permission from UC Postharvest Technology Center. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Links to any of these UC Postharvest Technology Center pages are permitted, but no endorsement of the linking site or products mentioned in the linking page is intended or implied by such a link.

How to Cite

Author(s) names. Initial publication or update date (located at the bottom). Title. Link to the specific Fruit Physiological Disorders webpage (Accessed date)

Example: Mitchell, F. G., G. Mayer, and A. A. Kader. 1980. Injuries cause deterioration of sweet cherries. California Agiculture 34(3):14-15.

http://ucanr.edu/sites/Postharvest_Technology_Center_/Commodity_Resources/Fruit_Physiological_Disorders/?uid=20&ds=822 (Accessed January 18, 2014).

College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Postharvest Technology Center
Department of Plant Sciences

Legal notices | Comments & Questions: postharvest@ucdavis.edu| Website Editor: Marita CantwellUC Davis

Webmaster Email: postharvest@ucdavis.edu