Apples coming out of storage are riper and are therefore more subject to bruising during the handling and transit operations necessary to distribute them on the market.
Formerly some of the most serious bruising occurred during packing and transit of apples in bushel baskets and in wooden boxes. This has been largely eliminated by the use of tray and cell packs in corrugated cartons, which protect the individual fruits. Bruising can still occur in these packs, however, if they are handled roughly (top photo). Slamming the boxes into place during loading and unloading will produce bruises on the lower side of the fruits in the bottom layer of the box. Bruising is more of a problem late in the season when the fruits have softened by ripening.
In addition to the types of bruising described above, there are the ordinary bruises produced during the many handling operations of loading, unloading, and moving the packages into retail channels. These bruises vary in size, are soft, and may appear water soaked in fairly ripe apples, and they generally become discolored. In cross section definite fractures are evident, and the injured tissues may be wet or somewhat pulpy.
With modern methods of handling and packaging in use, bruising injury can be further reduced by careful handling of apples at all stages of marketing from harvest through retail.
Bruising injury after harvest
Mechanical injury during grading, Golden Delicious
Bruising injury from bottom and sides of bin, Golden Delicious