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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #304395

Title: ‘Fuji’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh) volatile production during high pCO2 controlled atmosphere storage

item Rudell, David

Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2014
Publication Date: 11/6/2014
Citation: Lumpkin, C., Fellman, J.K., Rudell Jr, D.R., Mattheis, J.P. 2014. ‘Fuji’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh) volatile production during high pCO2 controlled atmosphere storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology. doi: 10.1016.postharvestbio.2014.10.008.234-243.

Interpretive Summary: ‘Fuji’ apples can develop postharvest disorders that render the fruit unmarketable. These disorders, typically internal browning often with small cavities in the internal tissues, occur several months after harvest in response to inappropriate storage conditions. Losses of this type reduce production efficiency and contribute to reduced food security and higher per apple production energy cost. As symptoms occur internally and usually during low oxygen controlled atmosphere storage, it is difficult for warehouse personnel to determine if problems in storage are occurring. By analyzing volatile compounds collected from apple storage rooms, scientists at the USDA Tree Fruit Research Laboratory identified several compounds that could serve as an early warning of conditions that lead to disorder development. This technique could provide apple storage operators with additional information about fruit response to storage conditions that could be used to avoid storage conditions that promote disorder development.

Technical Abstract: ‘Fuji’apple [Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] volatile compound dynamics were characterized during cold storage in air or at low pO2 controlled atmosphere (CA) with up to 5 kPa CO2. Volatile compounds in storage chambers were adsorbed onto solid sorbent traps and analyzed by GC-MS. CA storage conditions prolonged fruit storage life by reducing fruit ethylene production during and after storage, disorder incidence, and firmness, soluble solids, and titratable acidity loss compared to fruit stored in air. Fruit volatile production differed quantitatively by CO2 concentration and overall production trends during storage were similar to production after storage as previously reported. Production of butyl, hexyl, and propyl esters by apples stored in CA was lower compared with that by fruit stored in air, but methyl and ethyl ester contents increased during CA storage compared with air. CO2 injury incidence was highest in fruit stored in CA at 5 kPa CO2, an atmosphere where methyl ester accumulation may provide an early indication of CO2 injury development.