Metabolism of peel constituents was assessed during ripening of `Delicious' and `Golden Delicious' apples. The ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and/or controlled atmosphere storage (CA) were used to limit ethylene activity during and after storage at 1 °C. `Delicious' apples not exposed to 1-MCP developed a brownish discoloration (not superficial scald) during the initial 2 months of storage in air. LC/MS analyses of peel components indicated 1-MCP and/or CA inhibited the degradation of compounds responsible for red peel color (i.e., idaein) as well as other flavonoids. Ethylene regulation of metabolism of other phenolic and related constituents including (-)epicatechin and chlorogenic acid appears to be compound specific. The (-)epicatechin content is not impacted by 1-MCP or CA, while chlorogenic acid accumulation is reduced in fruit exposed to 1-MCP and/or stored in CA. β-carotene and lutein content in peel of `Delicious' fruit stored in air was lower compared with untreated controls. Chlorophyll degradation was enhanced in air-stored fruit previously exposed to 1-MCP; however, this result was not observed in 1-MCP exposed fruit from CA. Results for `Golden Delicious' apples also indicated that exposure to 1-MCP and CA, as well as storage duration, impacts metabolism of peel constituents. Chlorophyll degradation was delayed in fruit previously exposed to 1-MCP and then stored in CA. Impacts of 1-MCP and storage environment on concentrations of other `Golden Delicious' peel constituents increased with storage duration. The results indicate metabolism of apple fruit peel constituents during fruit ripening is differentially regulated by ethylene.
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