Altered metabolism of membrane lipids has been proposed as a mechanism for the beneficial effects of postharvest calcium treatment on apple quality. A previous study showed that after transfer of apples stored 6 months at 0C to 20C, calcium-treated fruit exhibited slower loss of galactolipid and altered levels of sterol conjugates. The present study of lipids in “control” fruit was conducted as a prelude to further in-depth analyses of the effects of postharvest calcium and heat treatments on lipid metabolism in apples during and after cold storage. Neutral lipid, glycolipid (GL), and phospholipid (PL) fractions were obtained by column chromatography followed by TLC separation of GL and PL classes. The major GL were steryl glycosides (SG), acylated steryl glycosides (ASG), cerebrosides (CB), and mono- and digalactosyl diacylglycerols. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) > P-ethanolamine (PE) > P-irositol (PI) were the major PL. The fatty acids of PC and PE were quite similar, whereas those of PI were more saturated. CB included only 2-hydroxy fatty acids. Among the steryl lipids, free sterols > SG > ASG, with beta-sitosterol >90% of the total sterol in each.
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