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Ruixiang Yan, Joshua B. Gurtler, James P. Mattheis, and Xuetong Fan

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of trichome (fuzz) removal on the efficacy of ultraviolet-C in inactivating Escherichia coli O157:H7 on peach fruit, and quality of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, cv. PF25] fruit as affected by fuzz removal and ultraviolet-C. Peach (cultivar PF25) fruit, with and without fuzz removal, were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of E. coli O157:H7 and treated with ultraviolet-C at doses of 0, 221, and 442 mJ/cm2. Fuzz was rubbed off using damped cloths. Survival of E. coli populations was determined at days 1, 4, and 7 at 20 °C. To study fruit quality, noninoculated fruit with and without fuzz removal were treated with ultraviolet-C at the same doses. Results demonstrated that ultraviolet-C at 442 mJ/cm2 reduced the population of E. coli by 1.2 to 1.4 log colony-forming units (CFU)/fruit on peach with fuzz, and 0.9 to 1.1 log CFU/fruit on fruit without fuzz 1 day after ultraviolet-C treatment. However, E. coli populations of all samples were similar with additional storage time, resulting in no significant difference among the treatments after 7 days of storage at 20 °C. Ultraviolet-C at doses up to 442 mJ/cm2 did not have any significant effect on the surface color of peaches during 7 days of storage, although fruit with fuzz removal increased L*, hue, and chroma values. In addition, fuzz removal promoted the loss of firmness during storage. Furthermore, ultraviolet-C at 442 mJ/cm2 increased antioxidant capacity of peach skin with fuzz. Overall, our results suggested that fuzz removal had marginal effects on the efficacy of ultraviolet-C, and ultraviolet-C did not negatively affect the quality of peaches.

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Jinwook Lee, James P. Mattheis, and David R. Rudell

‘Royal Gala’ apples can be susceptible to the incidence of fruit cracking and senescent flesh breakdown during cold storage. Because the development of these physiological disorders in other cultivars can be influenced by humidity during storage, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of high storage humidity on fruit quality attributes and incidence of physiological disorders in cold-stored ‘Royal Gala’ apples. Fruit obtained from a commercial orchard were kept in cardboard boxes with or without a perforated polyethylene liner during and after cold storage. High storage humidity induced by the perforated polyethylene liner reduced fresh weight loss but enhanced the change of fruit circumference after cold storage. High storage humidity contributed the most reduction of cortex lightness (L*) and hue angle (h o) in stem-end cortex tissues during shelf life. Fruit stored with liners had reduced internal ethylene concentration (IEC) and outer cortex firmness after removal from storage compared with control fruit. Furthermore, high storage humidity prevented shriveling but provoked fruit cracking. The incidence and severity of flesh breakdown were further aggravated during shelf life, compared with cold storage, regardless of a liner application. Overall, maintaining high storage humidity by applying a perforated polyethylene liner can contribute to delaying fresh weight loss, reducing IEC, and preventing fruit shriveling but can enhance cortex tissue browning, loss of flesh firmness, and incidence of fruit cracking during cold storage and shelf life.

Free access

Xuetong Fan, James P. Mattheis, and John K. Fellman

The effect of exogenous methyl jasmonate (MJ) and jasmonic acid (JA) compared with the effect of ethephon on surface color and quality of `Golden Delicious' and `Fuji' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) was studied. Treatments were applied by dipping fruit in water solutions of JA, MJ, or ethephon or by exposing fruit to MJ vapors. Response to MJ vapor treatment depended on fruit developmental stage, with the maximum effect occurring as fruit began to produce ethylene. MJ promoted color changes more effectively than JA. The promotive effect of JA increased with JA concentration. A minimum concentration of 0.1 mmol·L-1 JA was needed to promote significant color change within 15 d at 20 °C. JA at 1 or 10 mmol·L-1 promoted color change more effectively than 0.35 or 3.5 mmol·L-1 ethephon. The magnitude of JA-promoted responses decreased at lower temperatures. Treatments with 10 mmol·L-1 JA or 3.5 mmol·L-1 ethephon were phytotoxic. Treatments using JA at 1 or 10 mmol·L-1 in water promoted loss of fruit titratable acidity compared to controls. Firmness and soluble solids content were relatively unresponsive to JA treatments. Based on these results, using JA and MJ to promote degreening of apple fruit with minimal loss of other quality attributes appears feasible.

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Luiz C. Argenta, Xuetong Fan, and James P. Mattheis

The efficacy of the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) applied in water to slow ripening of ‘Golden Delicious’ [Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] apples was evaluated in comparison with 1-MCP applied in air. The material was applied by dipping fruit in 1-MCP water solutions (0.03, 0.3, or 3 mmol·m−3) for 4 min or by exposing fruit to 1-MCP gas (0.42, 4.2, or 42 μmol·m−3) in air for 12 h. Fruit were held in air at 20 °C for 25 days after treatment or stored at 0.5 °C in air for up to 6 months followed by 7 days in air at 20 °C. Application of 1-MCP in water or air delayed the increase in respiration and ethylene production associated with fruit ripening and reduced the amount of fruit softening, loss of acidity, and change in peel color. Treatments applied in water required a 700-fold higher amount of active ingredient compared with treatments applied in air to induce similar physiological responses. Fruit responses to 1-MCP varied with treatment concentration, and the maximum effects were obtained at concentrations of 4.2 or 42 μmol·m−3 in air and 3 mmol·m−3 in water. Peel color change was impacted less than retention of firmness and titratable acidity for 1-MCP treatments applied at concentrations of 4.2 or 42 μmol·m−3 in air and 0.3 or 3 mmol·m−3 in water. Treatment with 1-MCP in air or water was less effective for slowing peel degreening when treated fruit were stored at 0.5 °C compared with storage at 20 °C. Fruit treated with 1-MCP and stored in air at 0.5 °C developed a peel disorder typified by a gray·brown discoloration that is unlike other disorders previously reported for this cultivar. Symptoms were present when fruit were removed from cold storage and no change in symptom appearance was observed during a 7-d holding period at 20 °C.

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David R. Rudell, John K. Fellman, and James P. Mattheis

Repeated preharvest applications of methyl jasmonate (MJ) to 'Fuji' apple [Malus sylvestris var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit were evaluated for impacts on peel color, size, fruit finish, and maturation. MJ treatments at 2 week intervals began 48 days after full bloom (DAFB) (early season) or 119 DAFB (late season) and fruit were harvested 172 DAFB. MJ treatment stimulated significant increases in peel red color following the initial application and thereafter. Early season MJ treatment reduced fruit diameter and length to diameter ratio but slowed softening and starch hydrolysis. Fruit receiving late season MJ treatments had increased incidence of bitter pit and splitting, shorter green life, and slower softening. Results suggest preharvest application of MJ impacts apple color development and other aspects of fruit quality. Chemical name used: methyl 3-oxo-2-(2-pentenyl)cyclopentane-1-acetate (methyl jasmonate).

Free access

Jinwook Lee, James P. Mattheis, and David R. Rudell

‘Royal Gala’ apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit can be susceptible to the development of postharvest disorders such as flesh breakdown and cracking (splitting) during and after cold storage. The objective of this research was to investigate fruit size and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment effects on fruit physiological attributes and incidence and severity of storage disorders in ‘Royal Gala’ apples held in cold storage. In 2011, fruit segregated at harvest into two groups based on size (120 to 175, 250 to 350 g/fruit) were stored in air at 0.5 °C for 6 months and then at 20 °C for 7 days. In 2012, fruit were sorted into four groups (less than 200, 200 to 240, 241 to 280, and greater than 280 g/fruit), treated with 0 or 1 μL·L−1 1-MCP for 12 hours, and then stored in air at 0.5 °C for 3 or 6 months. Storage disorders were only detected at 6 months, regardless of 1-MCP treatment. In both control and 1-MCP-treated fruit, flesh breakdown incidence increased with fruit size, whereas severity was less associated with size. The progression of flesh breakdown developed in overall cortex tissue of control fruit but only detected in the stem-end tissue of 1-MCP-treated fruit. Internal ethylene concentration (IEC) decreased and CO2 production increased with increased fruit weight; however, 1-MCP-treated fruit had low IEC regardless of weight. Cortex tissue lightness (L*) increased with fruit size irrespective of tissue localization (stem end, equatorial, calyx end) at harvest. During 6 months’ storage, L* decreased with increased fruit size in controls but not 1-MCP-treated fruit. Fruit fresh weight loss increased with fruit size and storage duration, more so in controls when compared with 1-MCP-treated fruit. Furthermore, fruit circumference increased during storage with fruit size only for control fruit. These physical changes are associated with susceptibility of large fruit to flesh breakdown more so than small fruit. Reduced flesh breakdown incidence, progression of symptoms from the stem end into the cortex, and symptom severity in 1-MCP-treated fruit may indicate flesh breakdown is related to fruit ripening and senescence.

Free access

Charles F. Forney, James P. Mattheis, and Rodney K. Austin

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L., ltalica Group) produces severe off-odors when it is stored under anaerobic conditions which can develop in modified atmosphere packages. The compounds responsible for these off-odors, which render the broccoli unmarketable, were produced after sealing 50 g of fresh broccoli florets in glass pint jars held at 15C. Twenty-four hours after sealing oxygen concentration dropped to around 0.5% and remained at this concentration for 6 days. Volatile compounds found in the head space of the jars were identified using gas chromatography with flame photometric and mass spectroscopic detection. Volatile compounds produced were identified as methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and ethyl acetate. Methanethiol was detected 48 hours after sealing and appears through olfactory evaluation to be the primary compound responsible for the objectionable odor.

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Robert C. Ebel, James P. Mattheis, and David A. Buchanan

Potted apple trees were severely (S) or moderately (M) droughted and compared to a well-watered control (C) to determine changes in biogenesis of leaf volatile compounds. Total available water (TAW) of the soil was allowed to decline to near 0% TAW, 20% TAW, and 100% TAW, for S, M and C, respectively, by the end of a two-week drying period. Twenty-nine volatile compounds were identified by GC-MS using headspace sampling of detached leaves. Concentrations of (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-hexenyl acetate, l-hexanol, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol and hexyl acetate were 5 to 310 times higher for S than C. It is suggested that the large drought induced increase in C-6 compounds was related to enhanced lipoxygenase activity.

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Anne Plotto, Mina R. McDaniel, and James P. Mattheis

Changes in the odor-active volatile compounds produced by `Gala' apples [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Gala'] were measured after 4, 10, and 20 weeks storage at 1 °C in regular atmosphere (RA) or controlled atmosphere (CA), and 16 weeks in CA followed by 4 weeks in RA. Aroma was evaluated using the gas chromatography-olfactometry method Osme. Production of volatile esters decreased along with corresponding fruity aromas during CA storage. Hexyl acetate, butyl acetate, and 2-methylbutyl acetate were emitted in the largest amounts and perceived with the strongest intensities from RA-stored fruit. While hexyl acetate and butyl acetate concentrations and aroma intensities decreased during CA storage, 2-methylbutyl acetate remained at the RA concentration until apples had been stored 16 weeks in CA. Perception intensities of methylbutyrate esters with apple or berrylike odors decreased less than straight chain esters in CA-stored fruit. 4-Allylanisole, ß-damascenone, and 1-octen-3-ol, as well as an unknown compound with a watermelon descriptor, were perceived more in RA-stored fruit than in CA-stored apples. Factor analysis indicated the importance of these compounds in `Gala' apples stored 4 weeks in RA. Even though these compounds do not have an apple odor, they contribute to fresh `Gala' aroma.

Free access

Xuetong Fan, Sylvia M. Blankenship, and James P. Mattheis

An ethylene action inhibitor, MCP, was applied to preclimacteric and climacteric apple [Malus sylvestris L. (Mill.) var. domestica Borkh. Mansf.] fruit. Experiments were conducted in North Carolina and Washington State utilizing the following cultivars: Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Jonagold, and Delicious. MCP inhibited loss of fruit firmness and titratable acidity when fruit were held in storage at 0 °C up to 6 months and when fruit were held at 20 to 24 °C for up to 60 days. For all cultivars except `Fuji', differences in firmness between treated and nontreated fruit exceeded 10 N after 6 months storage. These beneficial effects were seen in both preclimacteric and climacteric fruit. Ethylene production and respiration were reduced substantially by MCP treatment. MCP-treated fruit had soluble solids equal to or greater than those in nontreated fruit. Storage and shelf life were extended for all cultivars tested. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP).