Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sink or Swim

Why should you never store tree fruit in the lavatory? Because two pear can’t beat a flush!!!

Although many people in north central Alberta enjoy the bounty of their gardens throughout the long cold winter months by storing produce in cold rooms, it may come as surprise to some that some fruits have a short shelf life because of their inability to move oxygen throughout the pulp.

Even though a fruit is picked, it still requires a continuous supply of air for respiration to produce the sugars and energy necessary to maintain good health. If air cannot pass through the fruit, the cells become oxygen starved and die causing them to turn brown and rot. The difference in air movement through the fruit is the primary reason that apples have a much longer storage life than pears.

Apple flesh has a much larger pore space in the cell tissue than pears. That’s why it is possible to bob for apples, because they float. Bobbing for pears is no longer carried out because of the large number of people drowning while attempting to bite the pears at the bottom of the bucket because pears do not float.

The additional air filled voids in apples not only gives them a lower density than pears but the irregular cavities in apples are more conducive to gas exchange as well. The micro channels network found in pears are extremely inefficient for transferring the air from the atmosphere to the centre of the fruit causing cells at the core to become quickly “out of breath”. To counteract this phenomenon, pears must be stored in enclosures with an elevated oxygen level.

No comments: