Postharvest Quality of Grape Tomatoes Treated with 1-Methylcyclopropene at Advanced Ripeness Stages

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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690

Grape tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Santa') harvested at light-red (>90% color) and full-red stages were treated with 1 μL·L–1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for 24 hours at 20 °C and stored at 20 °C. After 1 day of storage, fruit harvested at light-red stage treated with 1-MCP had a 56% lower respiration rate than untreated fruit. By day 7, respiration rates of the two treatments had converged at about 2 mL·kg–1·h–1. Ethylene production of light-red stage tomatoes treated with 1-MPC was 24% lower than untreated during storage, with rates converging by day 11. For fruit harvested full-red, 1-MCP had similar effects on respiration and ethylene production, although convergence occurred earlier, by day 5. Subsequent tests were conducted only with fruit harvested at full-red stage, since fruit harvested at the light-red stage had lower soluble solids content (4.3%) than fruit harvested at the full-red stage (5.5%). Several combinations of 1-MCP concentrations and exposure times were applied at 20 °C: 1 μL·L–1 for 24 h, 5 μL·L–1 for 6 or 12 h, 25 μL·L–1 for 6 or 12 h, and 50 μL·L–1 for 6 or 12 h; following the respective pretreatment fruits were stored at 20 °C. 1-MCP pretreatment extended marketable life by 1 d, irrespective of pretreatment regime, where untreated and pretreated fruit remained marketable (<15% of fruit soft, decayed and/or shriveled) for 6 and 7 d, respectively. However, 1-MCP did not affect whole fruit firmness, epidermal color, internal color, soluble solids content (6.5%), total titratable acidity (0.64%), or pH (4.3). In a third test simulating commercial handling procedures, full-red harvested tomatoes were treated with 1 μL·L–1 1-MCP for 24 h at either 13 or 20 °C, stored for 4 d at 13 °C, and then transferred to 20 °C. Under these conditions, marketable life for untreated and 1-MCP-treated tomatoes was 7 and 8 d, respectively.

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