Temperate fruit, wine grape and vegetable research & Extension in Umatilla County, eastern Oregon.
Prevention of Sweet Cherry Fruit Cracking using SureSeal, an Organic Biofilm
Due to high labor costs in the Pacific Northwest, when rain-induced fruit cracking in sweet cherries exceeds 25% at harvest, fruit are not picked. OSU Horticulture and Pharmacy faculty have collaborated in producing and patenting a novel, elastic, organic biofilm, SureSeal, which significantly reduces fruit cracking in sweet cherries. SureSeal is a hydrophobic copolymer of stearic acid, cellulose and calcium. Three years of collaborative research throughout the Pacific Northwest and overseas found that two applications of 1% SureSeal applied at straw color and again ten days later, consistently reduced fruit cracking when compared to untreated control fruit. In Norway, fruit cracking was reduced from 24.6% to 9.8% when trees were treated with SureSeal in combination with plastic ground covers. All except one of these studies found that use of SureSeal resulted in significantly higher total soluble solids and increased stem pull force than untreated control fruit.