Fruits of `Bartlett' pear (Pyrus communis L.) at green (preclimacteric) and yellow (postclimacteric) stages were kept in 0.25% O2 (balance N2), 80% CO2 (balance O2), or 0.25% O2 + 80% CO2 (balance N2) for 1, 2, or 3 days followed by transfer to air at 20C for 3 days to study the effects of these controlled atmosphere (CA) treatments on anaerobic products and enzymes. All the three CA treatments caused greater accumulation of ethanol, acetaldehyde, and ethyl acetate than the air control. The postclimacteric pears were more sensitive to CA treatments as indicated by occurrence of skin browning, enhanced activity of pyruvate decarboxylase, and higher concentrations of the anaerobic volatiles. For the preclimacteric pears, the 0.25% O2 treatment dramatically increased alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity, which was associated with the induction of one ADH isozyme. Exposure of preclimacteric pears to 80% CO2 slightly increased ADH activity while treatment with 0.25% O2 + 80% CO2 resulted in lower AD11 activity than 0.25% O2 alone.
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