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B. Ratanachinakorn, A. Klieber and D.H. Simons

Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Bermuda') were vacuum infiltrated at the breaker stage with 25 to 55 mL·L-1 ethanol (EtOH) vapor at a 10 kPa pressure for 5 minutes and then held for a further period before ripening in air at 22 °C. Fruit could tolerate these EtOH vapor concentrations for no longer than 0 to 12 hours after vacuum infiltration, depending on concentration; otherwise skin pitting, uneven ripening and off-flavors resulted. Noninjurious conditions delayed ripening, as judged by color change, by an additional 1 to 5 days compared with 4 days for the control; aroma or flavor were not altered as determined by a trained taste panel, except in extreme conditions where in some cases off-flavors increased. Soluble solids and titratable acidity did not vary, but pH increased by 0.1 units in some treatments. In control fruit EtOH was found only in the gel tissue, and acetaldehyde (AA) was higher in the gel tissue compared with the pericarp and columella, indicating different metabolic behavior of the various tomato tissues. During vacuum exposure, EtOH moved through the stem scar and to a much lesser extent through the epidermis; during subsequent exposure to EtOH more EtOH moved through the epidermis than before, but still less than through the stem scar. AA increased following EtOH uptake, but all increases in EtOH and AA disappeared before fruit ripened.

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A. Klieber, L. Jewell and N. Simbeya

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Italica group) was stored separately with ice and with an ice-replacement agent in polystyrene boxes and without an internal coolant in plastic-lined fiberboard boxes at 1C for 5 weeks and then under simulated marketing conditions at 20C for 2 days. Internal coolants did not improve quality, which was marginally reduced under all handling conditions, and they did increase postharvest costs.

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W.C. Lin, J.W. Hall and A. Klieber

A video-imaging technique, using commercial software to process images obtained at 550 nm, was established to estimate chlorophyll content of cucumber fruit disks. The chlorophyll content of excised disks was extracted, determined, and regressed on the video-image grey level. They were linearly related. The change in grey level of the whole visible image accurately indicated the change of green color during fruit development on the vine and the loss of green color after 1 week of storage at 13C. The relationship of the chlorophyll content on grey level was quadratic for three imaging methods: 1) average grey level of the five disks; 2) average grey level of the whole cucumber image; and 3) average grey level of central one-third of the whole cucumber image. Chlorophyll content was most highly correlated to the grey level of the disks themselves (residual SD = 6.74 μg·cm-2), but this sampling technique was destructive. Both one-third of the fruit image (SD = 9.25 μg·cm-2) and the whole image (SD = 9.36 μg·cm-2) provided satisfactory precision. For simplicity, whole-fruit imaging is suitable for estimating fruit chlorophyll content and for quantifying fruit green color intensity. Potential use of this technique in product sorting and shelf life prediction of long English cucumbers is discussed.

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A. Klieber, W.C. Lin, P.A. Jolliffe and J.W. Hall

Various stem-training systems were applied to greenhouse-grown `Mustang' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants at two production stages. Training systems determined the number of stems per plant, orientation of laterals, and leaf: fruit ratio. Training systems permitting high canopy light penetration resulted in darker fruit and a longer shelf life. Shelf life was positively related to rapid fruit growth in Expt. 1 but not in Expt. 2. Training systems to achieve a long shelf life of greenhouse-grown long English cucumber are described.