Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2012
Publication Date: 1/1/2013
Citation: Imahori, Y., Yamamoto, K., Tanaka, H., Bai, J. 2013. Residual effects of low oxygen storage of mature green fruit on ripening processes and ester biosynthesis during ripening in bananas. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 77:19-27. Interpretive Summary: Storage treatment of banana fruit with low O2 atmosphere inhibited ripening and decay and extended the time required for the fruit to ripen. Our results indicate that it would be necessary to keep banana fruit at 20 °C because of a lack of refrigeration in the distribution system, or in a modified atmosphere package designed to develop an optimum atmosphere during retail display, and suggest a potential for using low O2 atmosphere at higher temperatures to help maintain fruit quality. There is a high potential for low O2 treatment as a simple and inexpensive post-harvest technology.
Technical Abstract: Mature green banana (Musa sapientum L. cv. Cavendish) fruit were stored in 0.5%, 2 %, or 21% O2 for 7 days at 20 °C before ripening was initiated by ethylene. Residual effects of low O2 storage in mature green fruit on ripening and ester biosynthesis in fruit were investigated during ripening period for up to 6 d at 20 °C. Concentrations of ethanol in mature green fruits did not change during storage in both 21% and 2% O2 atmosphere, however, increased in fruit stored in 0.5% O2. Accordingly, the activities of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in 2% and 21% O2 atmosphere remained very low throughout the storage period, but significantly increased in 0.5% O2 treatment. After transferring fruit to regular air and trigging off ripening with ethylene, yellowing of peels and hydrolyzing of starch in fruit stored in low O2 atmosphere were slower than the control. Fruit stored in low O2 also showed delayed onset of the climacteric peak. The activities of ADH were lower in the low O2 stored fruit than the control fruit. Productions of ethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate, and isobutyl acetate were remarkably suppressed by low O2 storage. Alcohol acetyltransferase activity increased gradually with storage time in all treatments, being significantly lower in the fruit exported to low O2 pretreatments. The results indicate that low O2 plus room temperature storage can extend storage life of bananas with sacrifice of low production of ester volatiles.