Hexanal Vapor Acts as Residueless Antifungal Agent that Enhances Aroma Biosynthesis in Apple Fruit

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

Hexanal vapor inhibited hyphae growth of P. expansum Link. and B. cinerea Pers. on PDA media and on apple slices. After 48 hours exposure to 100 μl·liter–1 hexanal, the hyphae growth of both fungi was ≈ 50% that of nontreated controls. At a concentration of 250 μl·liter–1, neither fungi grew during the treatment period, however, some growth of both fungi occurred 120 hours after treatment. At concentrations of hexanal vapor of ≥450 μl·liter–1, the growth of both fungi ceased, and the organisms were apparently killed, neither showing regrowth when moved to air. When fungi were allowed to germinate and grow for 48 hours in hexanal-free air, a subsequent 48-hour exposure to 250 μl·liter–1 hexanal slowed colony growth relative to controls for several days and a 48-hour exposure to 450 μl·liter–1 stopped growth completely. Concentrations of hexanal that inhibited fungal growth on PDA also retarded decay lesion development on `Golden Delicious' and on `Jonagold' apple slices. Hexanal treatment stimulated aroma volatile production in `Jonagold' and `Golden Delicious' apple slices with hexanol and hexylacetate production strongly enhanced after 20 to 30 hours of treatment. A small amount of butylhexanoate and hexylhexanoate production also was noted. Since hexanal was converted to aroma-related volatiles by the fruit, the possibility of developing a system for nonresiduel antifungal agent is promising. This possibility was examined in modified-atmosphere packages.

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