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  • 1 Department of Vegetable Crops/Mann Lab, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

The content of acetaldehyde (AA) and ethanol (EtOH) increases in ripening climacteric fruit. Application of EtOH inhibits tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit ripening without affecting subsequent quality, and AA enhances organoleptic quality. AA inhibited ripening of mature-green tomato discs (MGTD) at about 30% conc of EtOH. The relationship between EtOH and AA inhibition of tomato fruit ripening is unclear. The inter-conversion of AA and EtOH is catalyzed by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) which is inhibited by 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP). No adverse physiological effects upon ripening were observed in MGTD receiving 20 μL of 4.0 mM 4-MP. Treating MGTD with 0.5 to 4.0 mM 4-MP in concert with AA (≤2.0 μL/g FW) or EtOH (≤8 μL/g FW) was not deleterious to ripening. A rapid, efficient method for the analysis of tissue AA and EtOH was linear (r2 = 0.97) for discs spiked with 0 to 45 μL EtOH. No temporal (0 to 42 h) changes in tissue AA and EtOH were detected in MGTD receiving 2.0 mM 4-MP. MGTD treated with 2.0 mM 4-MP and 8 μL/g FW EtOH had a 360-fold increase in AA after 6 days of ripening, but had no differences on EtOH conc. These conditions maximally inhibited ripening as determined by lycopene content.

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