What works to maintain apple quality in controlled-atmosphere storage may not necessarily work for Anjou pears in long-term storage.

Those are the initial findings of ongoing studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Wenatchee, Wash., according to a news release.

In one early study, ARS researchers led by James Mattheis tested chlorophyll flourescence as a possible quality early warning system for stored pears. After all, the process had been used successfully in CA-stored apples.

When apple chlorophyll levels increase during storage, storage managers know to raise oxygen levels only slight to prevent fruit damage.

But the monitoring system didn't work well to detect either black speck or pithy brown core in Anjou pears stored experimentally under low-oxygen conditions.

The researchers found the two diseases occurred despite no detectable changes in pear chlorophyll flourescence levels.

As a result, Mattheis is cautioning packers not to rely heavily on the monitoring technology for Anjous under very low oxygen conditions.