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Cynthia L. Barden and W. J. Bramlage

Superficial scald development on apples is related to preharvest environmental conditions, perhaps through effects on endogenous antioxidant concentrations In 1989 we examined effects of maturity, light, and preharvest temperatures (< 10°C) on endogenous antioxidant levels in the fruit at harvest and on scald development after long-term storage in 0°C air. Cortland apple trees were sprayed with 500 ppm ethephon 1 month before normal harvest to create maturity differences. Fruit on other Cortland trees were bagged 1 month prior to harvest to reduce light interception. Samples also were harvested from other Cortland trees after exposures to different numbers of hours < 10°C, Hours < 10°C before harvest were negatively correlated to scald development. Ethephon treatment decreased scald incidence, and bagging increased it, The total lipid-soluble antioxidant activity increased with increasing hours < 10°C and with ethephon treatment, while bagging of fruit slightly decreased this antioxidant activity. To better understand the relationships between preharvest factors and antioxidant levels, individual antioxidants, including ascorbic acid, α tocopherol, anthocyanins and glutathione, are being analyzed.

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S. Wee and R.M. Beaudry

Volatile compounds produced by apple (Malus domestica Borkh) fruit partition into the cuticle and epicuticular waxes and may play an important role in superficial apple scald. Of these volatiles, α-farnesene, conjugated trienes, hydroperoxides, and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one have been identified as playing a crucial role in scald production. Volatiles from the epicuticular wax of four different apple cultivars have been analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. A correlation was found between scald incidence and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one content and the 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one:α-farnesene ratio. α-Farnesene is the most-abundant volatile at the beginning of storage, whereas 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one is present in minute quantities. These two volatile compounds appear to have an inverse relationship with respect to one another since the levels of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one increased and α-farnesene decreased prior to the onset of apple scald. This changing ratio may have been due to an autoxidative process resulting in the breakdown of α-farnesene to 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. Analysis of the volatiles emanating from the apple wax revealed a number of compounds associated with aroma that also partition readily into the fruit surface.

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Albert C. Purvis and James W. Gegogeine

The mechanism by which diphenylamine (DPA) controls superficial scald in apples and reduces chilling injury in green bell peppers [Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum (Grossum Group)] has been assumed to be related to its antioxidant activity. In the present study, DPA inhibited the respiratory activity of green bell pepper fruit as well as oxygen uptake by the mitochondria isolated from them. When the alternative oxidase was inhibited with n-propyl gallate or disulfiram during state 4 respiration, DPA did not further inhibit O2 uptake. Treating green bell peppers with DPA before storage did not alter the induction and abundance of the alternative oxidase protein in mitochondria which was maximally induced in peppers stored at 4 °C. Whether added before or after the uncoupler, 2,4-dinitrophenol, DPA negated the enhanced O2 uptake associated with uncoupling of electron transfer in isolated mitochondria. These observations indicate that DPA inhibits the flow of electrons through the cytochrome path, probably somewhere in the cytochrome bc 1 complex. Although the secondary amine function of DPA makes it a powerful antioxidant, the effectiveness of DPA in reducing chilling injury in green bell peppers and superficial scald in apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] also may be due, in part, to its inhibition of respiration.

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R.E. Moran

The objective was to test the efficacy of 1-MCP when applied at 1, 4, 7, or 10 days after harvest. At harvest, internal ethylene (IEC) was undetectable in most fruit. There was a large increase in concentration at 7 days after harvest and an additional increased at 10 days in `McIntosh'. In Cortland, IEC was very low or undetectable until 10 days after harvest. After 4 months in CA storage, firmness of untreated `McIntosh' fell below 53 N. 1-MCP applied 1 day after harvest maintained firmness more than later applications. Application at 4–10 days was also effective with little difference between the three dates. 1-MCP was most effective on `Cortland' when applied 1–7 days after harvest. At 10 days, there was a loss of efficacy in maintaining firmness. Similar results occurred after 7 months of CA storage. Superficial scald of `McIntosh' was very mild with <1% of the fruit being affected after 220 days storage and 7 days at 20 °C. Untreated `Cortland' fruit had the greatest incidence of scald with most of the fruit being affected by 200 days. 1-MCP was not effective in preventing scald in `Cortland'.

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David Rudell, James Mattheis, and John Fellman

Diphenylamine (DPA) is used for superficial scald control in apple fruit. A number of DPA derivatives resulting from C-nitration, C-hydroxylation, O-methylation, and N-nitrosation can be present in DPA-treated apple fruit after storage. The presence of the compounds may be indicative of metabolic processes that lead to scald development. Therefore, apple peel DPA and DPA derivative content in fruit treated at harvest with DPA or DPA plus 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) was assayed upon removal of fruit from controlled atmosphere (CA) and regular atmosphere (RA) storage and during a 14-d post-storage ripening period. Apples were also treated at harvest with different concentrations of DPA and assayed after 6 months CA storage to confirm recovery of DPA and DPA derivatives is linear over a wide concentration range. Harvest maturity notably affected peel DPA and 4-hydroxydiphenylamine (4OHDPA) content. Post-storage ripening, 1-MCP treatment, and CA storage had varied affects on DPA derivative content, suggesting reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, such as •OH, •NO, and •NO2, or enzyme catalyzed reactions may be generated during ripening and senescence related physiological processes. Consistent correlations between scald incidence and content of specific derivatives were not observed.

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Paul T. Dauny and Daryl C. Joyce

Better maintenance of firmness and suppression of ethylene production in 'Queen Cox' and 'Bramley' apple [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit was achieved by prestorage applications of 1-MCP. 1-MCP concentration, exposure time and exposure temperature ranges of 0.1 to 10.0 μL·L-1 1-MCP, 6 to 48 h, and 0 to 20 °C, respectively, were effective on fruit subsequently stored for 2 ('Cox') and 3 ('Bramley') months in air at 3 to 4 °C. However, 1-MCP had little effect on either firmness or ethylene production after 4 ('Cox') or 6 ('Bramley') months storage. Nonetheless, 1-MCP treated 'Bramley' fruit had reduced rot and superficial scald incidences compared with untreated control fruit. Chemical name used: 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP).

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Christopher B. Watkins and Kenneth J. Silsby

Occasional occurrence of a superficial skin injury associated with CA storage can cause severe commercial loss in the `Empire' cultivar in the northeast. To develop industry strategies to prevent losses due to the disorder, we have examined a number of factors related to its occurrence. 1) Fruit from six orchards were stored with 2% or 5% CO2 (with 2% O2) at 0.5 or 3°C for 6 or 9 months. Orchard variation in susceptibility was high. Preharvest factors such as maturity or mineral levels in the fruit did not account for these differences. Incidence of the disorder was much higher at 5% than at 2% CO2. However, temperature did not affect the extent of injury. 2) Exposure of fruit stored at 2% CO2/2% O2 to 5% CO2 at 4-week intervals from harvest until 20 weeks indicated that fruit were most susceptible to injury between 0 and 8 weeks. 3) A postharvest treatment with diphenylamine (DPA) prevented occurrence of the disorder, ethanol reduced it, but ascorbic acid had little effect. 4) Fruit were held at storage temperatures for up to 10 days before exposure to either 2% or 5% CO2. Injury was highest in fruit exposed one day after harvest and negligible when exposed after 10 days. Collectively the results indicate that rapid CA can aggravate the disorder if care is not taken to maintain low CO2 concentrations in the storage atmosphere but that use of DPA for control of superficial scald will prevent its occurrence.

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Bruce D. Whitaker and Theophanes Solomos

Farnesene and its conjugated triene oxidation products in apple peel are positively correlated with, and thought to be involved in, the storage disorder superficial scald. Levels of these compounds are often estimated by dipping fruit in hexane and measuring the absorbance of the crude extracts at 232 nm (farnesene) and 269 or 281 minus 290 nm (trienes). We have devised a C18 HPLC method with UV detection at 232 and 269 nm that allows the simultaneous quantitation of 80 ng of farnesene and trienes. Using this method we have confirmed the recent report that one conjugated trien-6-ol comprises 90% of the stable oxidation products of farnesene. It was also found that crude hexane extracts of apple peel can give spuriously high values for farnesene and/or trienes when levels of these compounds are low and other UV-absorbing components are present. A group of compounds unrelated to farnesene, with an absorbance maximum at ≈259 nm, were noted in the peel of cv. Gala apples, which produced little farnesene or trienol. This may explain the report that fruit with a high ratio of A258nm/A281nm in peel extracts have a low incidence of scald. The new HPLC method will be applied in subsequent studies of postharvest factors involved in regulation of farnesene synthesis and oxidation.

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John M. DeLong, Robert K. Prange, Jerry C. Leyte, and Peter A. Harrison

HarvestWatch is a new chlorophyll fluorescence (F)-based technology that identifies the low-oxygen threshold for apple (Malus × domestica) fruit in dynamic low-O controlled atmosphere (DLOCA) storage environments [e.g., <1% oxygen (O2)]. Immediately following harvest, `Cortland', `Delicious', `Golden Delicious', `Honeycrisp', `Jonagold' and `McIntosh' fruit were cooled and loaded into 0.34 m3 (12.0 ft3) storage cabinets. A static controlled atmosphere (CA) regime of 1.5% O2, 1.5% carbon dioxide (CO2) and 3 °C (37.4 °F) [0 °C (32.0 °F) for `Delicious' and `Golden Delicious'] was established for the control fruit, while the low-O2 threshold was identified by a spike in the fluorescence parameter, Fα, as the O2 levels in the DLOCA cabinets were lowered below 1%. The DLOCA storages were then maintained at O2 levels of 0.1% to 0.2% above the threshold value for each cultivar, which returned Fα to prethreshold signatures. Quality measurements following 5 to 9 months of storage and a 7-day shelf life of 20 °C (68.0 °F), showed that the HarvestWatch fruit were generally firmer, had no incidence of superficial scald in `Cortland' and `Delicious' apples, and did not accumulate fermentative volatile compounds. The HarvestWatch system permits rapid, real-time measurements of the status of stored apple fruit in ultra low-O2 environments without the inconvenience of breaking the room's atmosphere. Our results indicate that HarvestWatch facilitates what may be the highest possible level of fruit quality retention in long-term, low-O2 apple storage without the use of scald-controlling or other chemicals before storage.

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H.P.V. Rupasinghe, D.P. Murr, and G. Paliyath

`McIntosh' apples were treated at 20 °C with 0.0, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0, 10, and 100 ppm 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; EthylBloc™) a day after harvest for 18 h and stored at 0 °C in air. Apples were also continuously exposed to 0.0 and 25 ppm 1-MCP under controlled atmosphere (CA; 0 °C in 4.5 kPa CO2 and 3 kPa O2) by re-establishing the initial concentration at week 9 and 17. The threshold concentration of 1-MCP at 20 °C to inhibit de novo ethylene production in apple fruit was determined to be 1.0 ppm. Interestingly, the ethylene antagonist completely inhibited (99.67%) ethylene production in apples, which were removed from 0 °C in air and CA after 9 weeks and held at 20 °C up to 6 days. Overall, ethylene production was 10- to 100-fold less in apples treated with 1 ppm and above 1-MCP than in untreated apples. 1-MCP-treated apples showed less softening; fruit firmness was 2-4 Lb higher compared to untreated apples. Total soluble solids of apples was not affected by 1-MCP treatment. Total hydrophobic volatiles, including the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon α-farnesene, from apples measured by SPME/GC showed an inverse relation to 1-MCP concentration. Contents of α-farnesene and its putative superficial scald-causing catabolite, conjugated triene alcohol, in the skin were reduced 60% to 90% by 1-MCP. However, 1-MCP did not suppress the incidence of scald or other disorders, e.g., stem cavity, browning and brown core, in `McIntosh' apples.