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Rosa Vilaplana, M. Carme Valentines, Peter Toivonen and Christian Larrigaudière

In order to determine the effects that 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) may have on antioxidant metabolism during cold storage, apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh. cv. Golden Smoothee) were treated with 625 nL·L−1 1-MCP immediately after harvest and stored in air for 3 months. Differences in total antioxidant activity and ascorbate levels were determined during storage and related to the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase [SOD (EC 1.15.1.1)], catalase [CAT (EC 1.11.1.6)], and peroxidase [POX (EC 1.11.1.7)] in pulp. The level of oxidative stress in the pulp tissue was also established by determining changes in levels of hydrogen peroxide and in the content of peroxidative markers during storage. Controls and 1-MCP-treated fruit exhibited similar changes in total antioxidant activity and ascorbate levels. However, significant differences in oxidative stress levels were found between treated and untreated fruit. 1-MCP-treated fruit exhibited lower levels of hydrogen peroxide and significantly lower levels in peroxidative markers, especially at the end of the storage period. In line with this last result, 1-MCP-treated fruit also exhibited greater enzymatic antioxidant potential and, more specifically, a higher level of POX activity. Collectively, these results showed that 1-MCP did not detrimentally affect the antioxidant potential of the fruit and provided evidence to support the hypothesis that the beneficial effects of 1-MCP on ripening are not exclusively limited to its effect on ethylene, but also include direct effects on peroxidation and POX enzyme activity.