134 A NOVEL TECHNIQUE TO MODULATE OXYGEN DIFFUSION IN BANANA FLESH

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  • 1 Postharvest Physiology Laboratory, Horticulture Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Oxygen diffusive resistance of preclimacteric banana flesh is considered to be much lower than skin resistance such that negligible internal gradients in O2 are expected. Therefore, blocking O2 influx and CO2 efflux of banana by sealing 100% of the pores over fractions of one 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 7/8 of the surface, should generate an internal modified atmosphere similar to that achieved by using fruit coatings which cover 100% of banana surface but block only a fraction of the pores. Using gas trapping vials to determine internal O2 and CO2 levels, we followed O2 and CO2 behavior along the length of the fruit. Gradients for O2 and CO2 were found indicating sufficient flesh resistance exists to prevent consideration of internal resistances as negligible. Internal gas gradients were linked to ripening in that firmness and greenness were higher at the coated end. These results imply that banana flesh can not be treated according to the hollow sphere models previously suggested.

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