Controlled Atmosphere pO2 Alters Ripening Dynamics of 1-MCP treated ‘d’Anjou’ Pear (Pyrus communis L.) Fruit

in HortScience

Ripening and development of physiological disorders and decay were assessed in ‘d’Anjou’ pear fruit after 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment and cold storage in air or controlled atmosphere (CA). Fruit were exposed after harvest to 0 or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP and then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1, 3, or 5 kPa O2 with 0.5 kPa CO2. Pears were held poststorage at 20 °C for 7 days before analysis. 1-MCP fruit usually had higher hue compared with controls. Softening after removal from storage was delayed in 1-MCP fruit regardless of storage atmosphere; however, control fruit stored in air or CA ripened to below 23 N, a minimum value for consumer acceptance, after all storage durations. 1-MCP fruit stored in air, 3, or 5 kPa O2 softened in the outer cortex (fruit surface to 8 mm into the cortex) to below 23 N only after 9 m, however, only fruit stored in air softened to less than 23 N in the inner cortex (8 mm to coreline). 1-MCP treatment also delayed deformation in cortex tissue tensile strength (TTS); after six or more months, 1-MCP fruit TTS was lower compared with those for control fruit. After 9 m, 1-MCP fruit stored in air had TTS values similar to those of controls whereas values for fruit stored in CA increased with CA O2 concentration. Titratable acidity was higher in 1-MCP-treated fruit stored in air (6 m only) or 3 or 5 kPa O2 compared with controls. Superficial scald developed after 6 m on control fruit stored in air or 5 kPa O2 and on control CA fruit regardless of O2 concentration after 9 m. No 1-MCP fruit developed scald. The results indicate ‘d’Anjou’ pear ripening in response to 1-MCP is influenced by storage pO2 as well as storage duration, and at the 1-MCP treatment concentration used, softening to a consumer standard for firmness occurred only in fruit cold stored in air for 9 months plus a 7-day poststorage ripening period. These fruit had peel hue less than 100, and the yellow peel color may not be consistent with current market expectations.

Contributor Notes

Financial support for this research was received from Pear Marketing Order #927.

Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

I thank David Buchanan and Janie Countryman for excellent technical assistance.

Corresponding author. E-mail: james.mattheis@ars.usda.gov.

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    ‘d‘Anjou’ pear firmness (N) in the outer 8 mm cortex after storage. Fruit were exposed to 0 (control) or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP for 16 h after harvest then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1–5 kPa O2 and 0.5 kPa CO2 for 3, 6, or 9 months. Fruit held 7 d at 20 °C after removal from storage. Values are means, n = 9 replicates of 6 fruit. *All controls decayed after 9 months. Dashed line at 23 N is threshold of consumer acceptance for ‘d’Anjou’ firmness.

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    ‘d‘Anjou’ pear firmness (N) after storage in cortex region 8 mm to core line. Fruit were exposed to 0 (control) or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP for 16 h then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1–5 kPa O2 and 0.5 kPa CO2 for 3, 6, or 9 months. Fruit held 7 d at 20 °C after removal from storage. Values are means, n = 9 replicates of 6 fruit. *All controls decayed after 9 months.

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    ‘d‘Anjou’ pear tissue tensile strength after storage. Fruit were exposed after harvest to 0 (control) or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP for 16 h then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1–5 kPa O2 and 0.5 kPa CO2 for 3, 6, or 9 months. Fruit held 7 d at 20 °C after removal from storage. Values are means, n = 9 replicates of 6 fruit. *All controls decayed after 9 months.

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    ‘d‘Anjou’ pear peel hue after storage. Fruit were exposed after harvest to 0 (control) or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP for 16 h then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1–5 kPa O2 and 0.5 kPa CO2 for 3, 6, or 9 months. Fruit held 7 d at 20 °C after removal from storage. Values are means, n = 9 replicates of 6 fruit. *All controls decayed after 9 months.

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    ‘d‘Anjou’ pear titratable acidity after storage. Fruit were exposed after harvest to 0 (control) or 12.6 μmol·L−1 1-MCP for 16 h then stored at 0.5 °C in air or 1–5 kPa O2 and 0.5 kPa CO2 for 3, 6, or 9 months. Fruit held 7 d at 20 °C after removal from storage. Values are means, n = 9 replicates of 6 fruit. *All controls decayed after 9 months.

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