Submitted to: Washington State Horticulture Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Apple fruit ripening is controlled by ethylene, a small molecular weight gas produced naturally by plants. Interfering with ethylene activity can slow apple fruit ripening to extend the period of marketability. The commercialization of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), trade name SmartFresh, provides an additional tool for postharvest management of apple fruit. Many factors influence apple fruit response to 1-MCP including cultivar, maturity at the time of treatment and post-treatment storage conditions, therefore, careful management is required to maximize 1-MCP responses.
Technical Abstract: Many of the postharvest management practices used to prolong storage life of apples act by reducing the effects of the plant hormone ethylene. Refrigeration and CA storage both slow ripening in part by reducing ethylene production and activity. The discovery by Drs. Sylvia Blankenship and Ed Sisler at North Carolina State University that 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) interferes with the ability of plants to respond to ethylene provides a potential new tool for postharvest management of climacteric fruits. Research worldwide using 1-MCP is providing insight into how control of ethylene action impacts (or does not impact) fruit ripening and how the use of this material can fit into commercial operations.