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R.J. Bender and J.K. Brecht

Mangoes for long-distance markets are harvested at the mature-green stage and shipped in refrigerated containers. Shipment under controlled atmosphere is still tentative, and the CO2 concentrations used are relatively low (maximum 10%), although mangoes have been reported as being less-sensitive to elevated CO2 than other tropical fruits. In the present study, CO2 concentrations of 10%, 15%, 25%, 35%, and 45% combined with 5% O2 were used to store mangoes. Mature-green `Tommy Atkins' were stored for 21 days at 12C, followed by air storage at 20C for 5 days. Tree-ripe mangoes were stored at 8 or 12C under the same conditions. Ethanol production rates increased along with increasing CO2 concentrations. However, only 35% and 45% CO2 atmospheres inflicted damage. Color development was severely inhibited under those treatments. Lower CO2 treatments, up to 25% in the storage atmosphere, inhibited skin color development and ethylene biosynthesis but, after 5 days in air at 20C, skin color and ethylene production reached control levels. Fruit flesh firmness did not differ among treatments at 12C. Tree ripe mangoes stored in CA at 8C were only significantly firmer than control fruit at transfer from CA to air.

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R.J. Bender, J.K. Brecht, D.J. Huber, and S.A. Sargent

Tree-ripe `Tommy Atkins' mangoes were not injured during storage in controlled atmospheres (CA) for 21 days at 8°C, and the fruit resumed ripening after transfer to air at 20°C (Bender et al., 1995). In our study, tree-ripe `Keitt' mangoes were stored at 5 and 8°C in either 10% or 25% CO2 combined with 5% O2 with control fruit maintained in air. Control fruit had higher percentages of electrolyte leakage than CO2-treated fruit at transfer from the CA and after 3 days in air at 20°C. Fruit stored in 25% CO2 at 5°C had significantly higher concentrations of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), over 0.5 nmol ACC/g fresh weight in mesocarp tissue. All the other treatments had similar ACC levels (<0.3 nmol/g fresh weight) after 21 days in CA. Ethylene production rates at both temperatures were significantly lower in the 10% CO2 treatment than in control fruit and were not detectable in 25% CO2. Ethylene production was similar in all treatments after transfer to air. Fruit from the 25% CO2 treatment at 5°C developed dull, green-grayish spots on the epidermis, but otherwise epidermal color, as determined by chroma and hue angles, did not differ among the treatments. There also were no differences in flesh color and flesh firmness.

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R.J. Bender, J.K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent, and D.J. Huber

Exposure to hypoxic O2 levels has been reported to result in better epidermal color, higher titratable acidity and soluble solids levels, delayed softening and reduced ethylene production and respiratory activity in many fruit species. Mangoes have been shown to tolerate short term (4 days) exposures to O2 concentrations below 0.5% with beneficial effects on firmness retention and maintenance of ground color. In the present work, `Haden' mangoes were stored for 14 days at 15°C with O2 levels ranging from 2% to 5% and compared to an air control and an atmosphere of 25% CO2 in air. `Tommy Atkins' mangoes were stored under the same treatments at 12°C for 21 days. After storage at 12 or 15°C the mangoes were transferred to air at 20°C for 5 days. Ethanol production rates during controlled atmosphere (CA) storage were significantly higher at O2 levels of 4% and below. Respiration (CO2 production) rates were reduced during CA storage but did not differ from the control after transfer to air. There were no differences in ethylene production as well as in flesh firmness, titratable acidity and total sugars. The ground color of mangoes kept under the lowest O2 concentration and under 25% CO2 was greener, as indicated by higher hue angles, than in the other treatments upon transfer to air at 20°C. However, only the mangoes stored under high CO2 maintained higher hue angles during the subsequent 5 days at 20°C.

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R.J. Bender, J.K. Brecht, E.A. Baldwin, and T.M.M. Malundo

To determine the effects of fruit maturity, storage temperature, and controlled atmosphere (CA) on aroma volatiles, mature-green (MG) and tree-ripe (TR) `Tommy Atkins' mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) were stored for 21 days in air or in CA (5% O2 plus 10% or 25% CO2). The MG fruit were stored at 12 °C and the TR fruit at either 8 or 12 °C. Homogenized mesocarp tissue from fruit that had ripened for 2 days in air at 20 °C after the 21-day storage period was used for aroma volatile analysis. The TR mangoes produced much higher levels of all aroma volatiles except hexanal than did MG fruit. Both MG and TR mangoes stored in 25% CO2 tended to have lower terpene (especially p-cymene) and hexanal concentrations than did those stored in 10% CO2 and air-stored fruit. Acetaldehyde and ethanol levels tended to be higher in TR mangoes from 25% CO2 than in those from 10% CO2 or air storage, especially at 8 °C. Inhibition of volatile production by 25% CO2 was greater in MG than in TR mangoes, and at 8 °C compared to 12 °C for TR fruit. However, aroma volatile levels in TR mangoes from the 25% CO2 treatment were in all cases equal to or greater than those in MG fruit treatments. The results suggest that properly selected atmospheres, which prolong mango shelf life by slowing ripening processes, can allow TR mangoes to be stored or shipped without sacrificing their superior aroma quality.

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E.A. Baldwin, T.M.M. Malundo, R. Bender, and J.K. Brecht

Mango fruit, cv. Tommy Atkins, were harvested from two grove sites in south Florida at mature green (MG) and tree ripe (TR) maturities. The fruit were either coated with one of two coatings (NS = Nature Seal® 4000, a polysaccharide coating, or CW = carnauba wax) or left uncoated (control) and stored in humidified air or held in a controlled atmosphere (CA = 5% O2 plus 25% CO2) at 12 °C for 21 days followed by 2 days in air at 20 °C. There were 12 fruit for each treatment/maturity stage combination replicated by grove site. After storage, the pulp was homogenized for later consumer or descriptive panel analysis. Measurements for total soluble solids (SS), pH, titratable acidity (TA), and flavor volatile compounds were also made. TR-harvested fruit were sweeter and generally more aromatic than MG-fruit as determined by sensory and/or chemical analysis. NS-coated fruit were more sour, bitter, and astringent compared to controls and CA-treated fruit. NS-coated fruit received lower overall consumer scores than CW-coated fruit, but were not different from controls or CA-treated fruit. This was reflected also in descriptive panel ratings. There were no differences based on storage treatment for SS, pH, or TA; however, NS-coated fruit were higher in acetaldehyde, methanol and ethanol compared to control or CA-treated fruit. Correlation and regression analysis showed significant relationships between sensory and chemical data.

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L. Brandenberger, M. Baker, D. Bender, F. Dainello, R. Earhart, J. Parsons, R. Roberts, N. Roe, L. Stein, M. Valdez, K. White, and R. Wiedenfeld

During the past several years, watermelon trials have been performed in the state, but not as a coordinated effort. Extensive planning in 1997 led to the establishment of a statewide watermelon trial during the 1998 growing season. The trial was performed in five major production areas of the state including: The Winter Garden (Carrizo Springs); South Plains (Lubbock); East Texas (Overton); Cross Timbers (Stephenville); and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Weslaco). Twenty seedless and 25 seeded hybrids were evaluated at each location. Drip irrigation with black plastic mulch on free-standing soil beds was used to grow entries in each area trial and yield data was recorded in a similar manner for each site. Results were reported in a statewide extension newsletter. Future plans include a continuation of the trial in the hope that multiple-year data will provide a basis for valid variety recommendations for watermelon producers in all areas of the state.