Mango has one of the highest import volumes in the world. In 2009, 860,000 t of mangoes with a value of $1012 million were traded (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2011). The main importer countries are the United States (with 31% of the total) and some countries of the European Union, which accounts for 19%. With very few exceptions, the United States requires QHWT for the entire volume of mangoes imported, although the European Union does not.
1-MCP is a potent ethylene antagonist that binds to ethylene receptors, blocking ethylene action (Sisler and Serek, 1997, 1999). Since the approval of 1-MCP by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 2002), extensive research has been performed demonstrating improved shelf life of edible produce. Depending on the species, 1-MCP may have a variety of effects on respiration, ethylene production, production of volatile compounds, chlorophyll degradation and other color changes, protein and membrane changes, fruit softening, disorders and diseases, and changes in acidity and sugars. A number of reviews (Huber, 2008; Watkins, 2008) have summarized the strong responses of ripening and senescence of several fruits and vegetables to 1-MCP mediated by reduced ethylene perception and, consequently, reduced ethylene production and respiration, and ethylene-sensitive softening and color changes.
The beneficial effect of 1-MCP in modulating ripening has been demonstrated for several mango varieties (Chaiprasart and Hansawasdi, 2009; Osuna-García et al., 2005, 2009; Penchaiya et al., 2006; Pereira-Bomfim et al., 2011; Silva et al., 2004). In most experiments, gaseous 1-MCP was applied in sealed chambers with doses ranging from 100 to 1200 ppb applied for 12 or 24 h at room temperature (22–25 °C) or while cooling the fruit at 12 °C. Results showed that 1-MCP delayed the climacteric peak and decreased ethylene production, maintained fruit firmness longer, and delayed ripening-related color changes.
In spite of these encouraging results, the adoption of 1-MCP at the commercial level has been very limited, mainly due to poor availability of air-tight rooms or containers and the long time required for its application in gaseous formulation. Recently, an aqueous 1-MCP formulation has been developed, allowing more flexibility for application. The aqueous solution was initially developed for preharvest application (Elfving et al., 2007), but when applied as a postharvest dip for only 1 to 5 min, it has shown the same effectiveness as a 9- to 12-h application of gaseous 1-MCP, delaying the ripening and softening process in pear (Malus domestica), avocado (Persea americana), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), mango, plum (Prunus domestica), and carambola (Averrhoa carambola) fruit (Cheng et al., 2012; Choi et al., 2008; Choi and Huber, 2008; Contreras-Martínez et al., 2007; Manganaris et al., 2008; Warren, 2009). The aqueous formulation could be much more easily incorporated into mango packinghouse processes (Brecht et al., 2010) than gaseous 1-MCP, either applied immediately after washing the fruit or following QHWT. If aqueous 1-MCP can be successfully incorporated into the packinghouse processes, the mango industry will have a powerful tool to allow harvest of fully mature fruit, while delaying ripening, extending shelf life, and maintaining fruit quality.
This research was conducted to determine the effectiveness of aqueous 1-MCP on delay of the ripening process, extension of shelf life, and maintenance of fruit quality of ‘Kent’ mango fruit with or without QHWT.
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