Volatile Cuticular Components Involved in Superficial Scald

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

Autoxidation products alpha-farnesene of have been implicated in superficial scald induction for apple (Malus domestica cv. Cortland Apple) fruit. We suspect the apple cuticle acts as a sink where α-farnesene can accumulate and eventually autoxidize into hydroperoxides, conjugated trienes, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (ketone), and other compounds. These oxidized byproducts may diffuse back into the peel, thereby initiating the scald process. Cortland apples were stored at 0.8°C. Volatile cuticular components were analyzed at 2-week intervals by gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy. Only two scald-related volatiles were found, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and α-farnesene. The identification of these compounds may allow the determination of cuticular involvement in superficial scald, as well as a possible correlation between the volatiles and apple scald development. α-farnesene concentrations initially increased and was followed by a decline, possibly due to its autoxidation.

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