Apple disorders and diseases

Good quality products are free from diseases and disorders. Customers will not buy apples with rots or with damaged skin. But also fruit that looks good on the outside but is brown or soft inside will not lead to happy customers. There are dozens of different diseases and disorders and these are not always easy to recognize. However, a good diagnosis is important. By recognizing the symptoms of a disease or disorder, it can be linked to the cause. If you know the cause, you know what measures can be taken to prevent the disease or disorder in the future.

Crate with apples of various quality. Photo by WFBR

Identifying apples diseases and disorders

Identification of apples diseases and disorders usually takes place by looking to the symptoms. Some symptoms are visible from the outside, while others can only be found internally after cutting the apple. Photos are available to help with identification. For apple growers and storage locations it is important to detect quality problems as early as possible. In this way they can adapt orchard or storage conditions to reduce the incidence. Also retailers can benefit from knowledge about disorders which they may encounter. For them it is important to know whether the cause lies in a previous stage in the supply chain or is due to their own operations.

Handling damage

  1. Apple with a bruise. Photo by WFBR


    Bruising is often visible as pressure points that appear as circular depressions in the skin. Initially no discoloration occurs, but the tissue of the pressure point turns brownish after a few hours in warm temperature. This may or may not be visible from the outside. Careless handling can easily lead to this damage, in all parts of the supply chain.
  2. Apples with punctures. Photo by WFBR


    Punctures in the skin are often caused by rough handling. Examples of causes are puncture with the stem of a neighbouring apple, by fingernails or by sharp edges of crates. This can happen anywhere in the supply chain and can be prevented. Open wounds are most sensitive for fungal infections.

Disorders and diseases

"Most of the decay will only appear at the end of the supply chain, but is caused before. Harvesters and packers typically underestimate their impact on fruit quality and decay development"
Frank van de Geijn, senior postharvest consultant WFBR

Did you know that?

  1. One apple can indeed spoil the whole bunch.

    Remove rotten fruit otherwise it can infect its neighbours.
  2. You need to do regular checks

    You need to do regular checks of the external and internal quality during storage.
  3. Descriptions and photos are available for a wide range of disorders.

    The pictures on this website can be sufficient to diagnose an observed apple disorder. However there are many cases where additional information is required to get more certainty. This can include apple mineral analyses, a shelf-life test, or an investigation of orchard, storage and retail conditions. Contact our expert to learn more about your specific apple disorder.
  4. WFBR experts can link specific disorders to the cause

    WFBR experts can link specific disorders to the cause, and advice the appropriate measures to prevent further losses.