Seedless table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) cv. Crimson Seedless were exposed to (E)-2-hexenal vapor during cold storage to determine its potential as a fumigant for long-term control of postharvest mold. Fruit were fumigated with 0.86 or 1.71 mmol (100 or 200 μL neat compound, respectively) (E)-2-hexenal per 1.1-L container for 2 weeks during 2 °C storage. Containers were moved to 20 °C storage after 4, 8, and 12 weeks for determination of mold incidence and berry quality over 12 days. The headspace concentration of (E)-2-hexenal, measured by gas chromatography, reached a maximum of 2.5 and 4.2 μmol·L–1 for 0.86 and 1.71 mmol per container, respectively, after 1 day and declined to <1 μmol·L–1 for both treatments by 14 days. Upon removal from cold storage at 4, 8, and 12 weeks, the incidence of mold was significantly lower for (E)-2-hexenal–treated fruit. Control of mold by (E)-2-hexenal fumigation persisted through 12 days of 20 °C storage, even though mold generally increased in all treatments. The two levels of (E)-2-hexenal were similar in their suppression of mold. Fumigation did not affect O2 or CO2 concentrations within the containers, nor were fruit firmness or soluble solids content affected. Postharvest fumigation of seedless table grapes with the natural volatile compound (E)-2-hexenal shows promise for control of mold.
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