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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mir, Nazir
item Canoles, Maurivio
item Beaudry, Randolph
item Baldwin, Elizabeth - Liz
item Pal Mehla, Chhatar

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Mir, N., Canoles, M., Beaudry, R., Baldwin, E.A., Pal Mehla, C. 2004. Inhibition of Tomato Ripening by 1-Methylcyclopropene. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 129(1):112-120.

Interpretive Summary: Tomatoes are harvested green and forced-ripened with a gas treatment and shipped to distant markets. Consumers, however, are not satisfied with the resulting tomato flavor. Research has shown that tomatoes harvested with at least some red color ripen with much better flavor quality. 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) is a new gas treatment that will stop tomatoes harvested with color from ripening for 6-10 days. This would allow the fruit to survive shipment and continue ripening normally at market destination.

Technical Abstract: The capacity for 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) to inhibit color change and firmness loss for tomato fruit was evaluated as a function of MCP concentration, multiple and continuous applications, and stage of ripeness. In addition, the relationship between external fruit color and itnernal color, aroma, and firmness was determined. MCP reduced the rate of red color development in fruit of all stages of ripeness. A single application of MCP delayed color development by approximately 6 days. A second application of MCP 10 days after first treatment additionally delayed color development of mature green fruit by another 8-10 days. MCP did not affect sugar or titratable acid levels in these fruit. Collectively, the data indicate that MCP caused minor shifts in the quality attributes of locule color, aroma, and firmness relative to external color, which may reduce the value of this treatment, but benefits accrued by slowed firmness loss and color development may afford sufficient compensation to make MCP application commercially feasible for tomato pending regulatory approval.

Last Modified: 05/29/2017
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