Practically all storage investigators have emphasized the importance of storing apples immediately after they are picked. The reason for this practice is better understood when it is realized that with a rise in temperature there is a corresponding increase in metabolic activity which may remain at a relatively high level for a considerable period. When this occurs apples ripen very rapidly. Placing fruit under temperatures slightly above freezing, however, slows down activity to a minimum, and the life of the fruit is greatly prolonged. A picture, then, of respiratory activity going on within the tissues of the apple, indicates how fast or how slowly metabolism is proceeding. Thus, in order to slow down activity within the fruit it should be placed in storage as soon as possible after it is picked. Temperatures of 50° to 80° F., which are common at picking time, greatly increase respiration, and maximum activity is reached within a very short time.
Harding, Paul L.
"Physiological behavior of Grimes golden apples in storage,"
Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station): Vol. 15
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/researchbulletin/vol15/iss182/1