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Diana Dostal Lange and Adel A. Kader

Stress levels of carbon dioxide can be effective in the retardation of ripening and control of decay-causing pathogens and insect infestation of some horticultural perishables. Our objective has been to identify key mitochondrial enzymes and pathways that regulate the fruit's response to CO2 actions. Oxygen uptake of fruit stored in air + 20% CO2 (16.8% O2) was depressed compared to the airstored fruit, whereas the fruit stored in air + 40% CO2 (12.6% O2) had an elevated respiration rate. Climacteric fruit treated with 20% CO2 at 10C had increased pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, decreased cytochrome oxidase (CytOx) activity, and double the alternative oxidase (AltOx) activity compared to air-stored fruit. Air + 40% CO2-stored fruit had reduced PDH and CytOx activities, and 50% more AltOx activity than the control fruit. Mitochondria were treated directly with the same CO2-enriched atmospheres to measure the catalytic effects of CO2. Total O2 uptake was decreased in both CO2 atmospheres and the cytochrome/alternative pathway ratio was greater than with mitochondria held in air. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of whole fruit confirmed that these CO2 atmospheres decrease the intracellular pH several 0.1 pH units with 2 h.

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Dana F. Faubion and Adel A. Kader

California-grown `Hass' avocado fruit were stored at 5C, in air or a controlled atmosphere (CA) of 2% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide. Fruit were evaluated at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks, both immediately upon removal from storage and after ripening at 20C. Severe chilling injury (flesh browning) developed in the airstored fruit after 6 weeks, while only moderate symptoms were observed in CA-stored avocado fruit after 12 weeks. Lipid peroxidation breakdown products increased during storage and ripening in both air and CA treatments. Sterols, steryl esters, steryl glycosides, glycolipids, and phospholipids were analyzed. Quantity of acylated steryl glycoside in ripe fruit changed from 34 nmoles initially, to 51 or 27 nmoles after 6 weeks at 5C in air or CA, respectively. Glycolipid fatty acid unsaturation in air-stored fruit decreased with the development of chilling injury. Fatty acid unsaturation in phospholipids (phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, and phosphatidylethanolamine) of air-stored avocados decreased with the development of chilling injury. CA storage delayed the development of chilling injury and the loss of fatty acid unsaturation.

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Diana Dostal Lange and Adel A. Kader

Carbon dioxide-enriched atmospheres can be effective in the retardation of ripening and in the reduction of decay of horticultural commodities. However, concentrations in excess of the tolerance level may cause physiological damage. The goal of our research is to elucidate the specific regulatory mechanisms of CO2 actions. Cytochrome oxidase (CytOx) in vitro activity in preclimacteric avocado fruit stored in air or 40% CO2 + 12.6% O2 was evaluated at 20C. Activities were determined during treatment and also after a transfer to air. Fruit treated with 40% CO2 + 12.6% O2 had elevated CytOx in vitro activity when compared to air-stored fruit. Immunoblot analysis was performed to determine if the increase in CytOx activity could be due to an increase in enzyme concentration. The decline in respiration rate of CO,-treated fruit was most likely due to the decrease in intracellular pH and its effect on the activities of important respiratory enzymes, including CytOx. The regulatory mechanisms of other mitochondrial respiratory enzymes in `Hass' avocados exposed to elevated CO2 atmospheres are also under investigation.

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James R. Gorny and Adel A. Kader

Ethylene biosynthesis of Golden Delicious apple fruit at 20°C is rapidly inhibited by a controlled atmosphere of air + 20% CO2. However, in vitro ACC oxidase activity and ACC content were not significantly different between air and air + 20% CO2 treated fruit, To determine the in vivo effects of CO2 treatment, both in vivo and in vitro enzyme activity essays were performed in en atmosphere of air or air + 20% CO2. Western blots were also performed to quantify the amount of ACC oxidase protein present in the air and air + 20% CO2 treated fruit.

We believe that in vivo cytosolic pH changes, induced by CO2, may reduce the in vivo catalytic capacity of ACC oxidase, end hence significantly reduce ethylene biosynthesis in climacteric tissue,

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Dana F. Faubion and Adel A. Kader

California grown `Hass' avocado fruit were stored at 5C, in air or a controlled atmosphere (CA) of 2% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide. Fruit were evaluated at 0, 3, 6, and 10 weeks, both immediately upon removal from storage and after 5 days at 20C. Severe chilling injury developed in the air-stored fruit after six weeks, while only moderate symptoms were observed in CA stored avocado fruit after 10 weeks. Lipid peroxidation breakdown products increased during storage and ripening in both air and CA treatments. Sterols, sterol esters, glycolipids, and phospholipids were analyzed. There was a shift in composition during storage towards increasingly saturated fatty acids. The fatty acid shift was greater in air, than in CA stored fruit. Results will be discussed concerning their relevance to chilling injury development.

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James R. Gorny and Adel A. Kader

The optimal `Bartlett' pear ripeness stage for fresh-cut processing based on flesh firmness ranges between 44.5 and 58 N (10 and 13 lbf). Use of softer pears reduces postcutting life due to flesh browning. Firmer pears may have longer postcutting life but lack good flavor. Dipping pear slices in a mixture of 2% (w/v) ascorbic acid + 1% (w/v) calcium lactate + 0.5 (w/v) cysteine (pH 7) for 5 min at 20 °C extended their shelf-life by inhibiting flesh softening and surface browning during storage at 0 °C for 10 days. After 3 days at 0 °C, ascorbic acid and cysteine residues dropped below detectable levels, while calcium content was double that of untreated slices. Preliminary sensory evaluation indicate no negative impact on flavor from this dip treatment. Exposure of intact pears to heat (35 or 40 °C) or controlled atmospheres (0.25 kPa O2 and/or 40 kPa CO2) for 24 or 48 h did not influence postcutting cut surface browning of pear slices. Storage of `Bartlett' pears at -1 °C in 2 kPa O2 (balance N2) resulted in longer postcutting life of the slices as compared to those made from air-stored pears at -1 °C. The longer the storage duration of whole pears, the shorter the shelf-life of their slices was. Fruit size did not affect the postcutting life of the pear slices, provided that they were treated with the ascorbic acid + calcium lactate + cysteine mixture. Untreated slices made from small pears exhibited surface browning faster than those made from large pears.

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Hendrik van Gorsel and Adel A. Kader

Internal breakdown (IB) is the limiting factor in the storage and postharvest handling of stone fruits. The symptoms of IB appear when fruits are kept for prolonged periods at temperatures below 10C and include leatheriness, mealiness, browning and bleeding of the flesh, and failure to ripen normally. We investigated the changes in phenolic compounds associated with IB of stone fruits. Twenty-eight phenolic compounds were separated by HPLC. Ten of these components were significantly affected by chilling temperatures. The concentration of six phenols changed in response to ripening after chilling temperatures, parallel to the appearance of IB symptoms. Most phenols showed a concentration gradient from the inside to the outside of the fruit, Comparison between peach cultivars showed characteristic differences in phenol metabolism during ripening. In both cultivars the most predominant phenol, chlorogenic acid, showed little change in concentration during storage. The structure of key phenolic compounds will be determined in order to elucidate the biochemical relationship between the phenols and the related enzymes. In this respect, a method was developed to detect phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity in peach fruit.

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Deirdre M. Holcroft and Adel A. Kader

Anthocyanin concentrations increased in both external and internal tissues of `Selva' strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) stored in air at 5 °C for 10 days, but the increase was lower in fruit stored in air enriched with 10 or 20 kPa CO2. Flesh red color was less intense in CO2 storage than in air storage. Activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and UDP glucose: flavonoid glucosyltransferase (GT) decreased during storage, with decreases being greater in both external and internal tissues of strawberry fruit stored in air + 20 kPa CO2 than in those kept in air. Activities of both PAL and GT in external tissues of strawberries stored in air + 10 kPa CO2 were similar to those in fruit stored in air, while enzyme activities in internal tissues more closely resembled those from fruit stored in air + 20 kPa CO2. Phenolic compounds increased during storage but were not affected by the storage atmosphere. The pH increased and titratable acidity decreased during storage; these effects were enhanced in internal tissues by the CO2 treatments, and may in turn have influenced anthocyanin expression.

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Adel A. Kader and Christopher B. Watkins

Rapid expansion of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) for horticultural produce has occurred during the last 10 years, especially for fresh cut (minimally processed) products, but limitations to further expansion reside in both responses of products and available technology. We introduce the workshop on Modified Atmosphere Packaging—Toward 2000 and Beyond by reviewing the current status of MAP technology for fresh and minimally processed products, highlighting research needs and future advances, and providing a list of selected references on MAP published since 1989.