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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #176461


item Mattheis, James
item Fan, Xuetong

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2005
Publication Date: 4/30/2005
Citation: Mattheis, J.P., Fan, X., Argenta, L.C. 2005. Interactive responses of 'Gala' apple fruit volatile production to controlled atmosphere storage and chemcial inhibition of ethylene action. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 53(11):4510-4516.

Interpretive Summary: Aroma is an important factor contributing to apple fruit edible quality. There are many compounds produced by apple fruit that can contribute to aroma and the mixture of compounds produced varies considerably between cultivars. Production of compounds contributing to aroma is a dynamic process that reflects the current stage of ripeness in harvested fruit. In addition to cultivar, a number of factors influences production of these volatile compounds including fruit maturity at harvest, postharvest storage conditions and handling practices, and duration between harvest and when the fruit is consumed. Volatile compound production and ripening in general is stimulated by ethylene, another volatile compound naturally produced by apple fruit. When ethylene production or the capacity of apple fruit to respond to ethylene is inhibited, ripening and volatile production decrease. This report illustrates how two components of the apple fruit postharvest management system, controlled atmosphere storage and application of the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene, interact to impact volatile production. The use of both technologies results in a rapid reduction in fruit volatile production with a concomitant delay in fruit softening.

Technical Abstract: 'Gala' apples exposed to the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for 12 h at 20 deg C were stored at 0 deg C in air or a controlled atmosphere (CA) maintained at 1 kPa O2 and 2 kPa CO2. Volatile compounds were measured after 4, 12, 20 and 28 weeks plus 1 or 7 days at 20 deg C. Treatment with 1-MCP then storage in air or CA, or storage in CA without 1-MCP treatment reduced volatile production compared to apples not treated with 1-MCP stored in air. Reduced production of esters, alcohols, aldehydes, acetic acid, and 1-methoxy-4-(2-propenyl)-benzene was observed. Ester production by fruit stored in CA decreased throughout the storage period regardless of previous 1-MCP treatment. Production of esters, alcohols, aldehydes, acetic acid and 1-methoxy-4-(2-propenyl)-benzene by 1-MCP treated fruit stored in air plus 7 days at 20 deg C increased after 20 or 28 weeks storage. Continuous exposure to 417 umol.m-3 ethylene during 7 days at 20 deg C after 12 or 28 weeks storage stimulated production of many volatile compounds, primarily esters and alcohols, by fruit stored in CA or 1-MCP treated apples stored in air. However, exposure to ethylene had no effect on production of aldehydes or acetic acid.