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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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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

Aroma and flavor characters of `Gala' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Gala'] were identified by 10 trained panelists. A vocabulary of 13 aroma descriptors and 16 flavor descriptors were used to characterize changes in controlled atmosphere (CA) and air, or regular atmosphere (RA) storage over 20 weeks. When compared with RA storage, the intensity of fruity (pear, banana, and strawberry) and floral descriptors decreased after 10 weeks in CA for whole and cut fruit aroma and flavor. During the entire storage period under CA, aroma of cut apples retained high vegetative and citrus characters but had a less intense anise aroma. Sourness and astringency were significantly higher for CA-stored apples, and sweetness was significantly lower. A musty note was perceived in whole apples stored in CA for 20 weeks. Aroma of whole fruit stored for 16 weeks in CA followed by 4 weeks in RA was higher in fruitiness, banana, floral, and anise characters when compared with apples stored 20 weeks in CA. There was no difference between fruit stored in CA followed by RA versus CA stored apples for flavor and aroma of cut fruit. Changes in descriptor ratings during storage are discussed in relation to gas chromatography and olfactometry data obtained with the Osme method.

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James P. Mattheis, David R. Rudell, and Ines Hanrahan

‘Honeycrisp’ apples are susceptible to develop the physiological disorder bitter pit. This disorder typically develops during storage, but preharvest lesion can also develop. ‘Honeycrisp’ is also chilling sensitive, and fruit is typically held at 10–20 °C after harvest for up to 7 days to reduce development of chilling injury (CI) during subsequent cold storage. This temperature conditioning period followed by a lower storage temperature (2–4 °C) reduces CI risk but can exacerbate bitter pit development. Bitter pit development can be impacted in other apple cultivars by the use of controlled atmosphere (CA) storage and/or 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). Studies were conducted to evaluate efficacy of CA and/or 1-MCP to manage ‘Honeycrisp’ bitter pit development. Apples from multiple lots, obtained at commercial harvest, were held at 10 °C for 7 days and then cooled to 3 °C. Half the fruit was exposed to 42 μmol·L−1 1-MCP the day of receipt while held at 10 °C. Fruit were stored in air or CA (3 kPa O2, 0.5 kPa CO2 for 2 days, then 1.5 kPa O2, 0.5 kPa CO2) established after 1 day at 10 °C or after 7 days at 10 °C plus 2 days at 3 °C. Fruit treated with 1-MCP and/or stored in CA developed less bitter pit compared with untreated fruit stored in air, and bitter pit incidence was lowest for 1-MCP-treated fruit with CA established during conditioning. Development of diffuse flesh browning (DFB) and cavities, reported to occur during ‘Honeycrisp’ CA storage, was observed in some lots. Incidence of these disorders was not enhanced by establishing CA 2 days compared with 9 days after harvest. 1-MCP and CA slowed peel color change, loss of soluble solids content (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA), and reduced ethylene production and respiration rate. The results indicate potential for the postharvest management of bitter pit development in ‘Honeycrisp’ apple through use of 1-MCP and/or CA storage.

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

‘Royal Gala’ apples [Malus domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]can develop postharvest disorders such as flesh browning, senescent breakdown, peeling, cracking, or shriveling during and after cold storage. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of storage temperature and a range (0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1 µL·L−1) of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) concentrations on fruit quality attributes and incidence and severity of physiological disorders during and after cold storage. Storage temperature differentially affected internal ethylene concentration (IEC), fruit circumference, and cortex color. 1-MCP treatment resulted in significant effects on fruit quality attributes and severity of physiological disorders, regardless of storage temperature. Incidence and severity of diffuse flesh breakdown (DFB), shriveling, cracking, and peeling were highest in control fruit stored but radial stem-end flesh breakdown (RSFB) only primarily in 1-MCP-treated fruit. Incidence of RSFB was highest following storage at 0.5 °C compared with 3 °C. 1-MCP treatment had the most influence on disorder incidence/severity or quality attributes, while treatment concentration of 1-MCP was not significant. Overall, the results indicate that 1-MCP treatment can reduce the incidence of ‘Royal Gala’ DFB but may enhance sensitivity to RSFB, when fruit are stored at 0.5 or 3 °C. Incidence of DFB and RSFB are influenced differentially by storage temperature or by 1-MCP treatment, respectively, indicating they may be different disorders.

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Corina Serban, Lee Kalcsits, Jennifer DeEll, and James P. Mattheis

‘Honeycrisp’ apples are susceptible to bitter pit, a physiological disorder that impacts peel and adjacent cortex tissue. ‘Honeycrisp’ is also susceptible to chilling injury (CI) that can be prevented by holding fruit at 10 to 20 °C after harvest for up to 7 days. This temperature conditioning period reduces CI risk but can enhance bitter pit development. Previous research demonstrated a controlled atmosphere (CA) established during conditioning can reduce ‘Honeycrisp’ bitter pit development without inducing other physiological disorders. The objective of this research was to evaluate the duration of CA needed to reduce bitter pit development. Experiments were conducted in 2014, 2016, and 2017 with fruit obtained from commercial orchards in Washington State and, in 2017 only, Ontario, Canada. Half the fruit were treated with 42 µmol·L−1 1-methycyclopropene (1-MCP) for 24 hours at 10 °C immediately following harvest. The untreated fruit were held at the same temperature (10 °C) in a different cold room. Following 1-MCP treatment, all fruit were conditioned at 10 °C for an additional 6 days, then fruit was cooled to 2.8 °C. During conditioning, fruit were held in air or CA (2.5 kPa O2, 0.5 kPa CO2) established 1 day after harvest, for 1 to 8 weeks, then in air. All fruit were removed from cold storage after 4 months and then held 7 days at 20 °C. Fruit from most orchards/years stored in CA developed less bitter pit compared with fruit stored continuously in air. CA during conditioning also reduced poststorage peel greasiness but CA for 2 weeks or longer enhanced cortex cavity development in some orchard lots. Treatment with 1-MCP did not reduce bitter pit but enhanced development of peel leather blotch and core browning for some orchards/years. 1-MCP–treated fruit slowed the loss of soluble solids content, titratable acidity, and reduced internal ethylene concentration. Results suggest the potential for postharvest management of bitter pit development in ‘Honeycrisp’ apples by CA established during conditioning with minimal development of other postharvest disorders.

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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).

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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.

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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).