DIFFERENCES IN THE STRUCTURAL RESPONSE OF ‘GRANNY-SMITH’ APPLES UNDER MECHANICAL IMPACT AND COMPRESSION

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Abstract

Apple fruits, cv. Granny Smith, were subjected to mechanical impact and compression loads utilizing a steel rod with a spherical tip 19 mm diameter, 50.6 g mass. Energies applied were low enough to produce enzymatic reaction: 0.0120 J for impact, and 0.0199 J for compression. Bruised material was cut and examined with a transmission electron microscope. In both compression and impact, bruises showed a central region located in the flesh parenchyma, at a distance that approximately equalled the indentor tip radius. The parenchyma cells of this region were more altered than cells from the epidermis and hypodermis. Tissues under compression presented numerous deformed parenchyma cells with broken tonoplasts and tissue degradation as predicted by several investigators. The impacted cells supported different kinds of stresses than compressed cells, resulting in the formation of intensive vesiculation, either in the vacuole or in the middle lamella region between cell walls of adjacent cells.

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