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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414

Blueberries were exposed to a series of atmospheric gas mixtures using an automated, computerized, gas-mixing, monitoring, controlling and recording system. Nitrogen was obtained from a PSA generator, O2 from an in-house air compressor and CO2 from compressed gas cylinders. Precise mixtures were made by introducing source gas streams into electronic gas-mixing valves where they were pre-mixed at desired concentrations and directed to fruit chambers. Gas mixtures giving maximum decay control and retention of harvest quality at 0°C were determined. Mixtures preserving fruit without causing fermentation or toxicity were also determined. Quality was retained in excess of 60 days at optimum gas levels. Increasing the fresh market period of blueberries with CA storage and prolonging shelf life and extending shipping distances with MA packaging appears promising.

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