Submitted to: Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2012
Publication Date: 6/24/2012
Citation: Luo, Y., Kou, L., Turner, E.R. 2012. Extending the shelf life of edible flowers with controlled release of 1-methylcyclopropene and modified atmosphere packaging. [abstract].
Technical Abstract: Edible flowers have great sensory appeal, but their extremely short shelf life limits their commercial usage. Postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment is used to counter ethylene activity and delay senescence in fresh produce; however its potential application in edible flowers has not been tested. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of 1-MCP treatment with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the shelf life of edible flowers. Freshly harvested carnations and snapdragons were packaged in trays with or without 0.5 µL/L of 1-MCP, sealed with a gas permeable film, and stored at 5 °C. Package atmospheres, tissue electrolyte leakage and flower quality were evaluated on days 0, 7 and 14. Treatment with 1-MCP resulted in significantly slower changes in package headspace O2, CO2, and C2H4 partial pressures, maintained higher overall quality of both flower species and reduced electrolyte leakage and abscission in snapdragon. All samples prepared with MAP had significantly reduced dehydration and higher overall quality compared to flowers packaged commercially in plastic clamshell containers. Treatments with controlled release of 1-MCP and MAP significantly extended storage life of edible carnation and snapdragons flowers. Application of this technology may make it possible to ship edible flowers via ground transportation rather than by air (currently being used) with significant cost reductions.