Absorption of 1-MCP by Nontarget Materials during Storage

in HortScience
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  • 1 Michigan State University, Horticulture, East Lansing, MI, 48824

We tested the sorptive capacity of a number of nontarget materials found in apple storage rooms on their capacity to remove 1-MCP from the storage atmosphere and thereby compete with the fruit for the active compound. Furthermore, we evaluated the impact of temperature and moisture. Nontarget materials included bin construction materials [high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), weathered oak, nonweathered oak, plywood, and cardboard] and wall construction materials (polyurethane foam and cellulose-based fire retardant). Each piece had an external surface area of 76.9 cm2. We placed our “nontarget” materials in 1-L mason jars and added 1-MCP gas to the headspace at an initial concentration of ≈30 μL·L-1. Gas concentrations were measured after 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 24 hours. The concentration of 1-MCP in empty jars was stable for the 24-hour holding period. Little to no sorption was detected in jars containing dry samples of HDPE, PP, cardboard, polyurethane foam, or fire retardant. Inclusion of plywood, nonweathered oak, and weathered oak lead to a loss of 10%, 55%, and 75% of the 1-MCP after 24 hours, respectively. Using dampened materials, no sorption resulted from the inclusion of HDPE, PP, polyurethane foam, or the fire retardant. However, the rate of sorption of 1-MCP by dampened cardboard, plywood, weathered oak, and nonweathered oak increased markedly, resulting in a depletion of ≈98%, 70%, 98%, and 98%, respectively. The data suggest that there are situations where 1-MCP levels can be compromised by wooden and cardboard bin and bin liner materials, but not by plastic bin materials or typical wall construction materials.

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