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Carolina Contreras, Nihad Alsmairat, and Randy Beaudry

‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to injury from O2 and CO2 partial pressures typical of those in controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage. A preliminary study was conducted in 2008 to investigate the effect of the following O2/CO2 partial pressure (kPa) combinations: 1/0, 3/0, 1/3, 3/3, 21/3, 21/0 (air), and 21/0 with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; 1 μL·L−1) on CA-related injuries of 'Honeycrisp' during storage for 6 months at 3 °C. ‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to an injury comprised of irregular-edged brown lesions in the cortex occasionally accompanied by the formation of lens-shaped voids. The symptoms are similar to CA-related injuries described for other apple cultivars and often characterized as a “CO2 injury.” Injury severity increased as O2 declined and as CO2 increased and was evident within the first month of storage. During 2009, 2010, and 2011, a study was conducted to evaluate options for avoiding injury during CA storage for this cultivar. Fruit were conditioned at 3, 10, and 20 °C for 5 days and then exposed to the following O2/CO2 partial pressure combinations: 3/0, 3/3, 21/0 (regular air); 3/3 with diphenylamine (DPA) drench (1 g·L−1); and 21/0 with 1-MCP (1 μL·L−1). Injury severity declined as the temperature of the prestorage conditioning period increased; holding fruit for 5 days at 20 °C almost completely eliminated the disorder. The antioxidant DPA also provided nearly complete control of CA injury. 1-MCP, although not studied in conjunction with a modified atmosphere, was found to cause no injury in air storage and may provide an alternative to CA storage and avoid the risk of CA injury for ’Honeycrisp’. The relationship between disorder development and growing degree-days, rainfall, and maturity indexes was studied. Ethylene was the only factor with a significant linkage to the development of CA injury (R 2 = 0.35; P = 0.0043). Suggestions for handling of ‘Honeycrisp’ for extended storage are presented.

Open access

Nihad Alsmairat, Philip Engelgau, and Randolph Beaudry

The concentrations of free amino acids in the peel and pulp of banana (Musa sp., AAA group, Cavendish subgroup, cv. Valery) fruit during ripening at 22 °C were measured. All 20 amino acids were quantified at seven distinct ripening stages as defined by measures of internal ethylene, O2, and CO2 concentrations, aroma volatile emissions, and peel color. Volatile production commenced 2 days after the peak in ethylene production and 1 day following the climacteric peak in internal CO2. The maximum rate of branched-chain ester synthesis occurred 2 to 3 days after its onset. Production of 2-methylpropyl and 3-methylbutyl esters was much higher in the pulp compared with the peel, confirming that the pulp, rather than the peel, is the primary site of banana aroma synthesis. Of the amino acids measured, only leucine, valine, and cysteine increased concomitantly with ester formation. This was observed in the pulp, but not in the peel. The data suggest the metabolic pathways for valine and leucine formation also support, respectively, the synthesis of 2-methylpropyl and 3-methylbutyl esters. It is not clear how leucine and valine can accumulate despite the fact that they act as feedback inhibitors of their respective synthetic pathways. There was a slight peak in the formation of several other amino acids in the pulp (e.g., alanine, arginine, asparagine, glutamine, and methionine) coinciding with the climacteric respiratory peak in CO2, but a similar pattern was not seen for the peel. These data are the first to demonstrate distinct differences in amino acid metabolism in the peel and pulp of banana related to their role in ripening and aroma biosynthesis.

Free access

Nihad Alsmairat, Carolina Contreras, James Hancock, Pete Callow, and Randolph Beaudry

We tested the impact of storage atmospheres in which the CO2 and O2 percentages sum to 21% on highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fruit condition and quality. The CO2 and O2 combinations, in percent composition, were 19%/2%, 18%/3%, 16.5%/4.5%, 15%/6%, 13.5%/7.5%, 12%/9%, 6%/15%, and 0%/21% for CO2/O2, respectively. Nine blueberry cultivars were evaluated (Duke, Toro, Brigitta, Ozarkblue, Nelson, Liberty, Elliott, Legacy, and Jersey) after 8 weeks of controlled atmosphere (CA) storage at 0 °C. Surface mold, berry decay, skin reddening (associated with fruit pulp browning), fruit firmness, pulp discoloration, and the content of ethanol and acetaldehyde were assessed. Fruit firmness, skin reddening, and decay declined and the proportion of fruit with severe internal discoloration tended to increase as CO2 concentrations increased. Ethanol and acetaldehyde accumulation was minimal, indicating fermentation was not induced by the atmospheric conditions applied. Cultivar effects were far more pronounced than atmosphere effects. Some cultivars such as Duke, Toro, Brigitta, Liberty, and Legacy appear to be well suited to extended CA storage, whereas other cultivars such as Elliott stored moderately well, and Ozarkblue, Nelson, and Jersey stored poorly. The data indicate that responses to high levels of CO2, while O2 is maintained at its maximum level practicable, can, in a cultivar-dependent manner, include significant negative effects on quality while achieving the desired suppression of decay.