Ripening pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] fruit exhibit climacteric peaks of ethylene and CO2 production 48 to 72 hours after harvest, and thus may be considered climacteric. The development of desirable quality traits and the loss of fruit firmness during ripening is extremely rapid, and a variety of strategies to slow these processes via manipulation of ethylene production and/or response and by more direct techniques like postharvest heat treatment have been attempted. Fruit, branches with fruit, and/or whole trees have been sprayed with ethephon or aminoethoxyvinylglycine to hasten or delay ripening, respectively. After harvest, fruit have been treated with commercial and higher rates of 1-methylcyclopropene for various durations at ambient and cold storage temperatures. Fruit have also been heat-treated at various temperatures, using both brief “shock” treatments above 40 °C and longer periods at 35 °C to 40 °C. In addition, in an attempt to alleviate the loss of ripening capacity as well as the development of injury symptoms from cold storage for longer than 4 weeks, cold-stored fruit were warmed to ambient temperature intermittently and then returned to cold storage. While some effects of the treatments were noted, the responses to all of these treatment strategies have failed to appreciably alter fruit ripening, the rapid loss of firmness, or otherwise maintain fruit quality beyond that without treatment.
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