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Elhadi M. Yahia, Marisela Rivera, and Omar Hernandez

Papaya (Carica papaya L., cv. Sunrise) fruits were exposed to a continuous flow of an atmosphere containing <0.4% 02 (the balance being N2) for 0 to 5 days at 20C. Decay was a major problem, and some fruit had developed off-flavors after 3 days in low O2 plus 3 days in air at 20C. The intolerance of the fruit to low O2 correlates with an increase in the activity of pyruvate decarboxylase and lactate dehydrogenase but not with the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase. Insecticidal O2 (< 0.4%) atmospheres can be used as a quarantine insect control treatment in papaya for periods <3 days at 20C without the risk of significant fruit injury.

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Richard D. Richins, Laura Hernandez, Barry Dungan, Shane Hambly, F. Omar Holguin, and Mary A. O'Connell

Plant pigments represent a source of non-toxic compounds that are used as food or cosmetic coloring agents. Red-fruited varieties of Capsicum annuum can be extracted to isolate the red-colored xanthophylls, capsanthin, and capsorubin. Common commercial processes for this extraction use hexane as the extracting solvent and mild or no heat varieties of Capsicum. In this report, we describe a process for efficient extraction of these red pigments using green chemistry: CO2 supercritical fluid extraction and trapping the pigments in ethanol. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this method can be performed on hot or pungent Capsicum fruit and the resulting pigment sample has very low levels of capsaicinoids, 1 to 2 ppm. This process then can reduce the use of hazardous solvents and expand the type of fruit that can be used for the extraction of red pigments.

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Carolina A. Torres, Omar Hernandez, Maria A. Moya-León, Ivan Razmilic, and David R. Rudell

A distinct type of postharvest skin browning on apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruit called “stain” is a frequent disorder in ‘Fuji’ grown under high light and elevated temperatures. Symptoms typically develop only on sun-exposed sections of the fruit regardless of the presence of sunburn symptoms, and sometimes only in the margins of this area. The role of different antioxidant systems in tissue exposed to different levels of sunlight and having different degrees of sun injury were investigated during cold storage [1 °C, >90% (relative humidity) RH]. Ascorbic acid (AsA) and glutathione (GSH) concentrations, AsA–GSH recycling enzyme activities and gene expression, and flavonoids and carotenoid concentrations were determined every 30 days. “Stain” incidence increased with sun exposure and sunburn level. Both shaded and exposed fruit peel without sunburn symptoms had the highest AsA content. The AsA–GSH recycling enzyme activities and gene expression levels had no clear relationship with sun exposure during cold storage. Chlorophyll a (chl a) and chlorophyll b (chl b) levels diminished over time and were higher in tissue without any type of sun injury. In contrast, carotenoid levels increased as sun injury incidence increased and remained relatively stable during storage. Total phenolics and quercetin glycoside levels changed coincidently during storage. Results indicate that the AsA–GSH cycle does not have a clear role in “stain” development. Nevertheless, reduced ascorbate levels may reduce the capacity to prevent oxidative stress–provoked damage which may, in turn, result in oxidation of quercetin glycosides, which would then lead to skin browning.