Soft Scald

Late harvested fruit are more susceptible to soft scald than fruit harvested at the correct time. Soft scald has been observed in Honeycrisp fruit grown in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, if stored below 2 °C (36 °F).

For fruit grown in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York, use delayed cooling of 10-20 °C (50-68 °F) for 1 week prior to long-term storage at 3.5 °C (38 °F). In New York-grown fruit, however, this may increase levels of bitter pit (Watkins et al., 2004), senescent breakdown, and rot (Robinson and Watkins, 2003).

For Nova Scotia-grown fruit, use delayed cooling, placing fruit at 50-68 °F (10-20 °C) for 4-7 days, < 50% RH, prior to long-term storage at 37-41 °F (3-5 °C).

In Ontario, store fruit at 3-4 °C (37-39 °F).

Softscald. Bottom photo by Renae Moran.


  • Moran, R, J DeEll, and D Murr. 2010. Effects of preconditioning and fruit maturity on the occurrence of soft scald and soggy breakdown in 'Honeycrisp' apples.  HortScience 45:1719-1722.
  • DeEll, JR and B Ehsani-Moghaddam. 2010. Preharvest 1-Methylcyclopropene Treatment Reduces Soft Scald in ‘Honeycrisp’ Apples during Storage. HortScience 45:414-417.
  • Moran, RE, JR DeEll, and W Halteman. 2009. Effects of preharvest precipitation, air temperature, and humidity on the occurrence of soft scald in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. HortScience 44:1645-1647.
  • DeLong, JM, RK Prange, WC Schotsmans, DS Nichols, and PA Harrison. 2009. Determination of the optimal pre-storage delayed cooling regime to control disorders and maintain quality in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. J. Hort. Sci. Biotech. 84:410-414.
  • DeLong, JM, RK Prange, and PA Harrison. 2004. The influence of delayed cooling on quality and disorder incidence in 'Honeycrisp' apple fruit. Postharvest Biol Tech 34:353-358.
  • Watkins, C, J. Nock, S Weis, S Jayanty, and R Beaudry. 2004. Storage temperature, diphenylamine, and prestorage delay effects on soft scald, soggy breakdown and bitter pit of 'Honeycrisp' apples. Postharvest Biol Tech. 32:213-221.
  • Tong, CB, DS Bedford, JJ Luby, FM Propsom, RM Beaudry, JP Mattheis, CB Watkins, and SA Weis. 2003. Location and temperature effects on soft scald in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. HortScience 38:1153-1155.