Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2003
Publication Date: 6/18/2003
Citation: ARGENTA, L.C., FAN, X., MATTHEIS, J.P. INFLUENCE OF 1-METHYLCYCLOPROPENE ON RIPENING, STORAGE LIFE AND VOLATILE PRODUCTION BY 'D'ANJOU' CV. PEAR FRUIT. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY. 2003. v. 51(13). p. 3858-3864.
Interpretive Summary: Pears are a highly perishable, high value fruit that are stored for long periods using refrigeration and controlled atmosphere (CA) technology. Cold temperatures and low oxygen concentrations in storage rooms maintain fruit quality by reducing the rate of ripening processes. Pear fruit ripening is stimulated by ethylene, a gaseous compound produced the fruit. Reducing the capacity of pears to produce and respond to ethylene is part of the reason refrigeration and CA slow fruit ripening. Recently 1-methycylcopropene (1-MCP), a gas similar to ethylene, has been shown to reduce ethylene activity in many fruit. Exposing `d'Anjou' pear fruit to 1-MCP greatly reduces the rate of fruit ripening without the use of CA. Pears treated with 1-MCP also have greatly reduced incidence of decay and development of physiological disorders including core browning, and superficial and senescent scald. Commercial use of 1-MCP on fruit in the US began in 2002 but was limited to apple fruit. Future use of 1-MCP on pears will depend on development of acceptable use protocols that allow predictable ripening of treated fruit after entry in the commercial marketing system.
Technical Abstract: `d'Anjou' pear fruit (Pyrus communis L.) exposed at harvest to 0, 0.42, 4.2 or 42 mmol·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 1-MCP treatment concentration. When 1-MCP-treated fruit began to ripen, softening and production of volatile compounds proceeded similar to that of untreated fruit. Post-storage ethylene exposure did not consistently stimulate ripening of fruit previously treated with 1-MCP. Efficacy of ethylene treatment depended on 1-MCP concentration and storage duration.