Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Rapid Detection Technologies for Pre- and Post-Harvest Apple ‘Bitter Pit’ Management

Funding Agency: WA AG/ USDA/ AMS/ Specialty Crop Block Grant
WSU Investigators; Lav Khot and Sindhuja Sankaran


This project aimed at providing sensing solutions to identify bitter pit disorder in fresh market apples, and prevent storing and packaging of the affected apples. The computer tomography (CT)-based imaging, visible-near infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy techniques were evaluated on three most susceptible apple varieties (‘Honeycrisp’, ‘Granny Smith’, and ‘Red Delicious’) grown in the WA State. Major outcomes include: Vis-NIR, HSI, CT and FTIR sensing techniques were able to identify this disorder; CT imaging identified internal injuries in apples; Chemical composition analysis showed imbalances in calcium and magnesium content in bitter pit apples. Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith showed similar trends in those imbalances; The project results have been published in six peer reviewed journals and stakeholder outreach was done through 9 presentations in different meetings and conferences. Project results translated beyond the scope and researchers (not part of this project) are using pertinent CT imaging techniques and developed image processing software in high throughput phenotyping of apple cultivars, and in evaluating role of calcium in bitter pit development & progression.