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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #133530

Title: Influence of 1-methylcyclopropene on ripening, storage life and volatile production by ‘d'Anjou’ cv. pear fruit

item Fan, Xuetong
item Mattheis, James

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2002
Publication Date: 7/22/2002
Citation: Argenta, L.C., Fan, X., Mattheis, J.P. 2002. Influence of 1-methylcyclopropene on ripening, storage life and volatile production by ‘d'Anjou’ cv. pear fruit. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 51:3858–3864.

Interpretive Summary: Edible quality of pears such as 'Bartlett' and 'd'Anjou' is determined by a number of factors including flavor, aroma, texture, sweetness and tartness. Marketability is determined by these factors and also the absence of cosmetic blemishes and decay. Management of pear fruit ripening to minimize quality deterioration and development of disorders during storage is critical for producers to allow marketing over an extended period. Current storage practices include refrigeration and controlled atmosphere storage to reduce the rate of fruit ripening. The process of pear ripening proceeds naturally due to the action of ethylene, a colorless, odorless gas produced by fruit. Inhibition of ethylene action via application of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) gas markedly reduces the rate of fruit ripening and development of physiological disorders and decay. Commercialization of 1-MCP for use on pears will require development of application and storage protocols to assure fruit ripening progresses upon delivery to retail markets.

Technical Abstract: 'Bartlett' and 'd'Anjou' pear fruit treated at harvest with 0, 0.42, 4.2 or 42 mol.m-3 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for 12 h at 20 °C were stored at 1 C for up to 8 months. After storage, half of the fruit were continuously exposed to ethylene (0.45 or 4-18 mmol.m-3) for 7 days at 20 °C. All fruit treated with 1-MCP had lower respiration and ethylene production compared to untreated controls. Fruit quality changes were delayed following 1-MCP treatment, as was development of superficial scald and peel yellowing. The duration of 1-MCP-induced responses was dependent on cultivar and 1-MCP treatment concentration. During ripening of 1-MCP-treated fruit, softening and production of volatile compounds proceeded similar to that of untreated fruit. Post-storage ethylene exposure inconsistently stimulated ripening of fruit treated with 1-MCP at harvest. Efficacy of ethylene treatment depended on 1-MCP concentration and storage duration.