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D.P. Murr, K. Hustwit, R. Tschanz, M.V. Rao, and G. Paliyath

Heat treatment of apples (Malus domestica Borkh cvs. Red Delicious, Starkrimson) and its effect on scald development have been investigated. Several parameters indicative of scald, such as ethanol and acetaldehyde content, UV-absorbing components from skin, and fruit quality parameters, such as fruit firmness and soluble solids content, were monitored after exposing apples to heat therapy at 40C for 24 h, followed by storing them at room temperature in polyethylene bags. In general, heat-treated apples possessed higher ethanol and acetaldehyde levels. As well, heat-exposed apples appeared to possess a lower degree of scald. The content of soluble solids did not appear to be affected by heat treatment. The degree of firmness, however, was maintained in heat-treated apples. Effect of heat treatment on several other physiological and biochemical parameters will be presented.

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Dangyang Ke, Elhadi Yahia, Betty Hess, Lili Zhou, and Adel A. Kader

`Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) fruit were kept in air, 0.25% O2 (balance N2), 20 % O2 + 80% CO2, or 0.25% O2 + 80% CO2 (balance N2) at 20C for up to 3 days to study the regulation of fermentative metabolism. The 0.25% 02 and 0.25% 02 + 80% CO2 treatments caused accumulations of acetaldehyde and ethanol and increased NADH concentration, but decreased NAD level. The 20% O2 + 80% CO2 treatment slightly increased acetaldehyde and ethanol concentrations without significant effects on NADH and NAD levels. Lactate accumulated in avocadoes kept in 0.25 % 02. The 80% CO, (added to 0.25% O2) did not increase lactate concentration and negated the 0.25% O2-induced lactate accumulation. Activities of PDC and LDH were slightly enhanced and a new isozyme of ADH was induced by 0.25% O2, 20% O2 + 80% CO2, or 0.25 % O2 + 80% CO2; these treatments partly reduced the overall activity of the PDH complex. Fermentative metabolism can be regulated by changes in levels of PDC, ADH, LDH, and PDH enzymes and/or by metabolic control of the functions of these enzymes through changes in pH, ATP, pyruvate, acetaldehyde, NADH, or NAD. Chemical names used: alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), reduced NAD (NADH), pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH).

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Chris B. Watkins, Juan-Pablo Fernández-Trujillo, and Jacqueline F. Nock

Susceptibility of apple fruit to CO2 can be affected by cultivar and postharvest treatment with diphenylamine (DPA). To study possible metabolic reasons for CO2 injury development, `Cortland' and `Law Rome' apple fruit were either untreated or treated with DPA at harvest, and then exposed to air or 45 kPa CO2 for up to 12 days. Fruit were sampled at 3-day intervals during treatment, and peel and flesh samples were taken for organic acid and fermentation product analysis. Additional fruit were removed to air and stored for 25 weeks for evaluation of injury. `Cortland' apple fruit had more external CO2 injury, but less internal CO2 injury than `Law Rome'. DPA treatment markedly reduced incidence of both external and internal injury. Fermentation products increased in peel and flesh of both cultivars with increasing exposure to CO2. However, acetaldehyde concentrations were ≈10 times higher in peel and flesh of `Law Rome' than `Cortland' apples. Ethanol concentrations in the flesh were similar in both cultivars, but were about twice as high in `Cortland' than `Law Rome' peel. Neither acetaldehyde nor ethanol concentrations were affected consistently by DPA treatment. Cultivar or DPA treatment did not affect accumulation of succinate, often regarded as the compound responsible for CO2 injury. These results do not indicate that acetaldehyde, ethanol, or succinate accumulation is responsible for CO2 injury in apple fruit.

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J. Pablo Fernández-Trujillo, Jacqueline F. Nock, and Christopher B. Watkins

`Cortland' and `Law Rome' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] were either nontreated or treated with the inhibitor of superficial scald development, DPA, and exposed to air or CO2 (40 or 45 kPa) in air at 2 °C for up to 12 days. Fruit exposed to air or 45 kPa CO2 were sampled during treatment, and peel and flesh samples taken for fermentation product and organic acid analyses. After treatment, fruit were air stored for up to 6 months at 0.5 °C for evaluation of disorder incidence. `Cortland' apples were most susceptible to external CO2 injury and `Law Rome' to internal CO2 injury. DPA treatment markedly reduced incidence of both external and internal injury. Fermentation products increased in peel and flesh of both cultivars with increasing exposure to CO2, but the extent of the increase was cultivar dependant. Acetaldehyde concentrations were about 10 times higher in peel and flesh of `Law Rome' than that of `Cortland' apples. Ethanol concentrations in the flesh were similar in both cultivars, but were about twice as high in `Cortland' than in `Law Rome' peels. Neither acetaldehyde nor ethanol concentrations were affected consistently by DPA treatment. Succinate concentrations, often regarded as the compound responsible for CO2 injury, increased with CO2 treatment, but were not affected by DPA application. Citramalate concentrations were reduced by CO2 treatment in `Law Rome' peel, but other acids were not consistently affected by CO2. Results indicate that acetaldehyde, ethanol or succinic acid accumulation are not directly responsible for CO2 injury in apples. Chemical name used: diphenylamine (DPA).

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Fairuz. El-Wazir, Dangyang Ke, and Adel A. Kader

The tolerances (based on time before detection of off-flavor) of nectarine and peach cultivars to an insecticidal controlled atmosphere of 0.25% O2 (balance N2) at 20C were 2.8, 4.0, 4.0, 4.4, 5.1, and 5.3 days for `John Henry' peaches, `Fantasia' nectarines, `Five Red' peaches, `O'Henry' peaches, `Royal Giant' nectarines, and `Flamekist' nectarines, respectively. The greater sensitivity of `John Henry' peaches to low O2 stress was associated with a higher respiration rate; faster accumulation rates of acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate; and a more mature and larger fruit. The tolerances of `Fairtime' peaches to 0.21% O2 + 99% CO2 at 20C, 0.21 O2 + 99% CO2 at 0C, and 0.21% O2 at 20C were 3.8, 5.0, and 6.0 days respectively. There was a good correlation between tolerance of nectarines and peaches to insecticidal atmospheres and the accumulation rates of acetaldehyde (r=-0.94, p<0.01) and ethanol (r=-0.88, p,0.01).

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Miguel H. Ahumada, Elizabeth J. Mitcham, and Denise G. Moore

Non-SO2-fumigated `Thompson Seedless' table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) were stored at 5 or 20 °C for 6 and 4.5 days, respectively, in air or one of four insecticidal controlled atmospheres (ICA); 0.5% O2 + 35% CO2; 0.5% O2 + 45% CO2; 0.5% O2 + 55% CO2; or 100% CO2. The fruit were evaluated for weight loss, berry firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity, berry shattering, rachis browning, berry browning, and volatiles (acetaldehyde and ethanol). Fruit quality was not affected at 5 °C with the exception of greater rachis browning in fruit treated with 0.5% O2 + 45% CO2. At 20 °C, ICA treatments maintained greener rachis compared to the air control; however, SSC was reduced in the fruit treated with 55% and 100% CO2. At both temperatures, ICA induced the production of high levels of acetaldehyde and ethanol. Ethanol concentrations were two-thirds lower at 5 °C than at 20 °C. Consumer preference was negatively affected by some ICA treatments for grapes kept at 20 °C, but not by any of the treatments at 5 °C. Preliminary data for mortality of omnivorous leafroller pupae (Platynota stultana Walshingham), western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande) adults and larvae, and pacific spider mite (Tetranychus pacificus McGregor) adults and larvae indicate that many of the ICA treatments would provide significant insect control.

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Dangyang Ke, Elhadi Yahia, Mila Mateos, and Adel A. Kader

Changes in fermentation volatiles and enzymes were studied in preclimacteric and postclimacteric `Bartlett' pears (Pyrus communis L.) kept in air, 0.25% O2, 20% O2 + 80% CO2, or 0.25% O2 + 80% CO2 at 20C for 1, 2, or 3 days. All three atmospheres resulted in accumulation of acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate. The postclimacteric pears had higher activity of pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and higher concentrations of fermentation volatiles than those of the preclimacteric fruit. For the preclimacteric pears, the 0.25% O2 treatment dramatically increased alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity, which was largely due to the enhancement of one ADH isozyme. Exposure to 20% O2 + 80% CO2 slightly increased ADH activity, but the combination of 0.25% O2 + 80% CO2 resulted in lower ADH activity than 0.25% O2 alone. For the postclimacteric pears, the three atmospheres resulted in higher PDC and ADH activities than those of air control fruit. Ethanolic fermentation in `Bartlett' pears could be induced by low O2 and/or high CO2 via 1) increased amounts of PDC and ADH; 2) PDC and ADH activation caused by decreased cytoplasmic pH; or 3) PDC and ADH activation or more rapid fermentation due to increased concentrations of their substrates (pyruvate, acetaldehyde, or NADH).

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Hisashi Kato-Noguchi and Alley E. Watada

Although a number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of control and modified atmosphere on the quality and storability of carrot roots (Daucus carota L.) under low O2 atmosphere, little is known about the underling biochemical changes in particular changes in anaerobic respiration. Carrot root shreds were stored under a continuous flow of 0.5% and 2% O2 (balance N2), or air for 7 days at 5 and 15°C to study the regulation of glycolysis and the accumulation of glycolytic end products, such as ethanol and/or lactic acid. Low O2 atmosphere caused increases in the concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde and the activities of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC). By day 3, ethanol increased 38-, 25-, 13-, and 9.5-fold, acetaldehyde increased 20-, 13-, 7.7-, and 5.6-fold, ADH increased 7.6-, 6.3-, 3.8-, and 2.7-fold, and PDC increased 4.2-, 3.9-, 2.3-, and 2.2-fold for 0.5% O2 at 15 and 5°C, 2% O2 at 15 and 5°C, respectively, compared with corresponding air control. These results shows that the production of ethanol was higher in 0.5% O2 than in 2% O2 at both temperatures. The enhancement of the glycolytic flux under 0.5% O2 indicates that under these conditions the mitochondrial terminal oxydases were restricted, hence, the enhancement of ethanol synthesis, to compensate partly for the decrease in ATP production.

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Eva Almenar, Rafael Auras, Maria Rubino, and Bruce Harte

The United States is the world's largest producer of blueberries and strawberries. Successful marketing for both of them requires fruit of the highest quality and appearance. However, these fruits have a relatively short postharvest life, mostly due to the incidence of molds such as Colletrotrichum acutatum, Alternaria alternata, and Botrytis cinerea. At present, several natural occurring plant volatiles have been shown to be effective against fungal growth, but, even so, those compounds could not be maintained at constant concentration during the whole postharvest period due to their volatility. In this work, two naturally occurring aldehydes (acetaldehyde and hexanal) were tested and compared against the growth of the above mentioned fungi at 23 °C. After that, the most effective antifungal compound for each fungus was encapsulated in ß-cyclodextrins (ß-CD) and tested during storage period. Both aldehydes were effective in reducing and avoiding fungal proliferation depending on concentration. Fungal proliferation depended on daily, and not initial, volatile concentrations. Volatiles encapsulated in ß-CD showed higher antifungal activity compared to that obtained using the pure volatile during storage. Tested volatiles showed both fungicidal and fungistatic capacities after storage of fungal cultures in air. Results suggested ß-CD-acetaldehyde and ß-CD-hexanal complexes can be used as a new technology to release a naturally occurring antifungal compound during storage against several fungal diseases.

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Chaim Frenkel and Amnon Erez

Five-day-old etiolated cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Marketmore) seedlings held at 2C for 72 hours develop chilling injury resulting in desiccation and collapse of the hypocotyl tissues and eventual plant death. Hypoxia-induced accumulation of ethanol and acetaldehyde led to tolerance to subsequent chilling as evidenced by continued hypocotyl growth and freedom from injury. Arrest of volatile accumulation by applied bisulfite negated the development of hypoxia-induced chilling tolerance in seedlings. In seedlings held in normoxia, cold tolerance was induced by applied ethanol vapors, whereas acetaldehyde had a marginal effect, suggesting that hypoxia-induced cold tolerance may arise from the accumulation and activity of ethanol. Cold tolerance was induced by exposure to gaseous n-propanol and n-butanol vapors and other volatile anesthetics, including chloroform and halothane, indicating that ethanol activity may stem in part from an anesthetic effect that causes disorder of membrane lipids. However, development of cold tolerance in ethanol-enriched tissues was time-dependent, suggesting an association with biosynthetic event(s). Ethanol did not change the fatty acid composition in cucumber hypocotyl membranes.