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

  • Tomislav Jemrić University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. Pomology. Svetosimunska cesta 25. HR–10000 Zagreb
  • Ivan Fruk University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. Pomology. Svetosimunska cesta 25. HR–10000 Zagreb
  • Mladen Fruk University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. Pomology. Svetosimunska cesta 25. HR–10000 Zagreb
  • Sanja Radman University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Vegetable Crops. Svetosimunska cesta 25. HR–10000 Zagreb
  • Lovro Sinkovič Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. Hacquetova ulica 17. SI–10000 Ljubljana
  • Goran Fruk University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Dept. Pomology. Svetosimunska cesta 25. HR–10000 Zagreb
Keywords: Malus × domestica Borkh., Ca absorption, CaCl2, gibberellins, 1-MCP, DPA, controlled atmosphere, physiological disorder


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.


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How to Cite
JemrićT., FrukI., FrukM., RadmanS., SinkovičL., & FrukG. (2017). Bitter pit in apples: pre- and postharvest factors: A review. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 14(4), e08R01.
Plant physiology