Bitter pit in apples: pre- and postharvest factors: A review

Tomislav Jemrić, Ivan Fruk, Mladen Fruk, Sanja Radman, Lovro Sinkovič, Goran Fruk


Bitter pit is a physiological disorder that significantly reduces the quality of apples. Although it has been detected since the beginning of the last century, still there is little known about the mechanism of its occurrence. According to numerous studies, bitter pit is formed as a result of calcium deficiency in the fruit. Some authors cite the high concentration of gibberellins, later in the production season, most probably caused by excessive activity of the roots, as the chief causative factor. Beside Ca, there are several factors that can also contribute to its development, like imbalance among some mineral elements (N, P, K and Mg), cultivar, rootstock, the ratio of vegetative and generative growth, post-harvest treatments and the storage methods. There are some prediction models available that can estimate the risk of bitter pit in apples, but even those are not always reliable. The aim of this review was to encompass the pre and postharvest factors which cause bitter pit and point out the directions for solving this problem.


Malus × domestica Borkh.; Ca absorption; CaCl2; gibberellins, 1-MCP, DPA, controlled atmosphere, physiological disorder

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016144-8491