182 Chemical Changes in the Cell Wall Composition of Calcium-infiltrated `Golden Delicious' Apples

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  • 1The Univ. of Tennessee, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Knoxville, TN 37901; 2Horticultural Crops Quality Lab., Beltsville, MD 20705

`Golden Delicious' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) were pressure-infiltrated after harvest with 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, or 4% CaCl2 solutions (w/v) and the chemical composition of the cell wall of the cortical tissue 2 to 4 mm under the epidermis was studied. The mineral composition of the control cell wall (0% CaCl2) was not affected by the pressure infiltration process. In addition, no significant change was noticed in cell wall associated protein, uronic acid, total polysaccharides, or non-cellulosic neutral sugar contents except for xylose and rhamnose, which decreased (-25%) and increased (+20%), respectively. When apples were infiltrated with CaCl2, Ca content of the cell wall increased and maximum accumulation was achieved with a 2% CaCl2 solution. Calcium infiltration also induced a two-fold increase in Na, a 27% decrease in P, and a 40% decrease in protein content. These data suggest that chemical changes occurring after Ca infiltration are not related to pressure infiltration alone, but are mainly due to the Ca accumulation in the cell wall after pressure infiltration of CaCl2 solutions. Saturation of the available binding sites for Ca occurred in the cell wall when fruit were infiltrated with 2% CaCl2, as no further significant changes in the cell wall chemical composition was detected in fruits infiltrated with 3% or 4% CaCl2.

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