Changes in Anthocyanin Concentration, Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase, and Glucosyltransferase in the Arils of Pomegranates Stored in Elevated Carbon Dioxide Atmospheres

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  • 1 1Dept. of Pomology, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 2 2Dept. of Food Science and Technology, CEBAS (CSIC), P.O. Box 4195, Murcia, E-30080, Spain

The influence of CO2 on color and anthocyanin concentration in the arils of `Wonderful' pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) was investigated. Pomegranates were placed in jars ventilated continuously with air or air enriched with 10% or 20% CO2 at 10°C for 6 weeks. Samples were taken initially, and after 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks and anthocyanin concentration was measured by HPLC. The arils of the pomegranates stored in air were deeper red than those stored in CO2-enriched atmospheres. This increase in red color resulted from an increase in anthocyanin concentration. Arils from fruit stored in air+10% CO2 had a lower anthocyanin concentration than air-stored fruit, and atmospheres enriched with 20% CO2 suppressed anthocyanin biosynthesis. Anthocyanin concentration was well-correlated to the activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), but not to glucosyltransferase (GT) activity. Moderate CO2 atmospheres (10%) prolong the storage life and maintain the quality of pomegranates, including an adequate red color of the arils.

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