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The objective of this study was to determine the effects of prestorage heat treatments on chilling tolerance of tomatoes. Mature-green `Agriset' tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), either C2H4-treated or not, were immersed in 42C water for 60 min, held in 38C air for 48 hours, or not treated, and then stored at either 2C (chilled) or 13C (nonchilled) for 14 days before ripening at 20C. Heat-treated fruit stored at 2C and transferred to 20C ripened normally while nonheated fruit decayed before reaching red ripe. Color (a*/b* ratio), lycopene content, and internal quality characteristics of fruit were similar at the red-ripe stage irrespective of method of heat treatment. In red-ripe heat-treated fruit, free sterol levels were significantly higher in chilled fruit than in nonchilled fruit. Heating fruit in 38C air resulted in significantly higher levels of some free sterols compared with heating fruit in 42C water. Of the 15 flavor volatiles analyzed, six showed significantly decreased concentrations as a result of C2H4-treatment and seven showed decreased concentrations when stored at 2C before ripening. Some volatiles were decreased by the heat treatments. Prestorage short- and long-term heat treatments could allow for storage of mature-green tomatoes at lower temperatures with little loss of their ability to ripen normally.

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Ethephon has increased yields of red fruit, but its use as a pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) fruit ripening agent has been limited by premature fruit abscission and defoliation. We tested ethephon solutions of 0,1500,3000,4500, and 6000 μl·liter-1 with or without 0.1 m Ca(OH)2 as a onetime foliar application to field-grown paprika pepper in southwestern Oklahoma. There was a linear increase in fruit abscission with increasing ethephon rates in 2 of 3 years, with or without added Ca. Marketable fruit as a percentage of total harvested fruit weight was improved by ethephon at 6000 μl·liter-1 in 2 of 3 years, primarily due to a decrease in weight of harvested green fruit. However, ethephon never significantly increased the dry weight of harvested marketable fruit over that obtained from the control. There also was no effect of ethephon on the intensity of red pigment extracted from dehydrated marketable fruit. The only consistently significant effect of Ca(OH)2 was an undesirable increase in the retention of green fruit on the plants. Ethephon had little value as a fruit-ripening agent for paprika pepper under the conditions of our studies, and Ca(OH)2 was not useful as an additive to ethephon sprays. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).

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Abstract

‘Redhaven’ peach and ‘Stanley’ prune trees budded on dwarfing Prunus besseyi Bailey rootstocks were grown and fruited in greenhouse sand culture under 2, 90, 180 (control), 270, and 400 ppm Ca to study growth, fruiting, and fruit quality, 1970-72. Peach fruits were smaller, greener, and firmer and had less soluble solids and red blush at 2 and 90 ppm than at higher concentrations, and had poorer flavor at 2 ppm. Peach leaf Ca increased and fruit Ca decreased (except at 2 ppm) as Ca treatment levels increased. Optimum peach fruit quality was obtained when the Ca supply was 180 to 270 ppm and leaf Ca was above 2.00% dry weight. Prunes were little affected by Ca treatments, except that at 2 ppm most fruits dropped after fruit set and the few that remained were smaller and misshapen. Calcium accumulated to a higher level at a given treatment in prune leaves than in peach leaves.

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Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) was used in two experiments to control preharvest drop and to improve fruit quality of `McIntosh' apples. AVG application at 25 g a.i./acre (26 ppm) and 50 g a.i./acre (52 ppm) to mature `McIntosh'/M.7 apple trees delayed drop between 1 and 2 days. In another experiment where AVG was applied to `Marshall McIntosh'/Mark apple trees at concentrations between 30 and 120 ppm, drop control also was good. The response was linear. NAA had little or no effect on retarding preharvest drop. In both experiments, AVG increased fruit flesh firmness, retarded ripening, and delayed red color development. The commercial potential of AVG will be discussed.

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Mature-green `Sunbeam' tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were treated in varying order with C2H4, 42 °C water for 1 hour, 38 °C air for 2days, held 2 days at 20 °C (partial ripening), or not treated and then stored at 2 °C (chilled) for 14 days before ripening at 20 °C. Heat-treated fruit stored at 2 °C and transferred to 20 °C ripened normally, while 63% of nonheated fruit decayed before reaching the red-ripe stage. Partially ripened fruit developed more chilling injury, were firmer, were lighter, and were less red in color than fruit not partially ripened. Lycopene content and internal quality characteristics of fruit were similar at the red-ripe stage irrespective of sequence of C2H4 exposure, heat treatment, or a partial ripening period. Of the 15 flavor volatiles analyzed, 10 were reduced by storage at 2 °C, Exposure to C2H4 before the air heat treatment reduced the levels of four volatiles, while C2H4 application either before or after the water heat treatment had no effect on flavor volatiles. Two volatiles were decreased and two were increased by partial vipening, Storage at 2 °C decreased the level of cholesterol and increased levels of campesterol and isofucosterol in the free sterol pool. Exposure to C2H4 before or following heat treatments, the method of heat treatment, and partial ripening had little effect on free sterols, steryl esters, steryl glycosides, or acylated steryl glycosides in the pericarp of red-ripe fruit. A shortor long-term heat treatment of mature-green tomatoes could permit storage at low temperatures with little loss in their ability to ripen normally, whereas partial ripening did not reduce chilling injury.

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Girdled or nongirdled `Biscoe' peach (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch) secondary scaffold branches were covered with shade fabric to provide a range of photosynthetic photon flux densities (PPFD) from 44 to 20 days before harvest (DBH), from 20 to 0 DBH or 44 to 0 DBH. Fruit quality was affected differently by the various periods of shade during the final swell of fruit development. Shading 40 to 20 DBH did not affect fruit weight or quality, whereas shading 44 to 0 DBH had the greatest effect on fruit weight and quality. Fruit quality was generally similar on branches exposed to 100% and 45% incident PPFD (IPPFD). Fruit on” girdled branches generally responded to shade more than fruit on nongirdled branches. Fruit weight was positively related to percent IPPFD for girdfed but not nongirdled branches shaded 20 to 0 DBH and 44 to DBH. On nongirdled branches, fruit exposed to 45% IPPFD for 44 to 0 DBH had 14% less red color and 21% lower soluble solids content (SSC) than nonshaded fruit. Harvest was delayed >10 days and preharvest fruit drop was increased by shading to <23% IPPFD. Shading branches for 20 to 0 or 44 to 0 DBH altered the relationship between flesh firmness and ground color: Firmness declined as ground color changed from green to yellow for fruit shaded 44 to 20 DBH, but firmness declined with little change in ground color for fruit shaded 20 to 0 or 44 to 0 DBH. Girdling results indicated that fruit weight and SSC partially depended on photosynthate from nonshaded portions of the canopy, whereas fruit redness, days from bloom to harvest, and ground color depended on PPFD in the vicinity of the fruit.

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Our objective was to increase the percentage of marketable red fruit at harvest time on paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants intended for mechanical harvest by using ethephon [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] to remove late-developing blooms and green fruit. We conducted three experiments on field-grown plants in southwestern Oklahoma. We tested ethephon solutions of 0, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 μl·liter–1 as a one-time foliar application on various dates. Total dry weight of harvested fruit decreased linearly with ethephon rate in all three studies. Marketable fruit as a percentage of total harvested fruit weight increased linearly with ethephon rate in two studies. There was no consistent effect of ethephon on the intensity of red pigment extracted from dehydrated marketable fruit. With proper timing, as little as 1000 μl ethephon/liter was enough to alter the distribution of total harvested fruit weight toward marketable fruit and away from green fruit. A target spray “window” of the last 10 days in September seemed appropriate for southwestern Oklahoma, and the recommended rate of ethephon was between 2000 and 3000 μl·liter–1.

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`Columbia' and `Gebhard' strains of red `d'Anjou' pears (Pyrus Communis L.) harvested at similar maturity exhibited different ripening behavior after monthly removal from 1C storage in air. `Columbia' fruit produced ethylene at higher rates than `Gebhard' fruit during 15 days of ripening at 20C after each corresponding storage interval, `Gebhard' fruit required a longer period of chilling than `Columbia' fruit to generate noticeable rates of ethylene during ripening. The unripened fruit of both strains contained similar amounts of ACC at each corresponding storage interval. At each corresponding ripened state, ACC content in `Columbia' fruit increased 2 to 3-fold, while that in `Gebhard' fruit changed very little. After sufficient chilling, `Columbia' fruit were capable of softening to proper ripeness, and they developed buttery and juicy texture as indicated by the apparent reduction of extractable juice (EJ) content. `Gebhard' fruit also softened but to a lesser extent than `Columbia' fruit. Ripened `Gebhard' fruit had only slightly lower levels of EJ than unripened fruit and did not develop a buttery and juicy texture after any storage intervals. Titratable acidity (TA) in fruit of both strains varied between for the 1988 and 1989 seasons but decreased significantly during storage in both years. Soluble solids concentrations (SSC) in both strains also varied seasonally but did not change during storage or ripening. Chemical name used: 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC).

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Abstract

Permeability to the postharvest fumigant hydrogen cyanide (HCN) varied markedly among 13 plastic film-wrapping materials. Permeability was determined by comparing California red scale [Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell)] (CRS) surviving fumigation on film-wrapped and nonwrapped, insect-infested, fruit. HCN transmission rates for several films also were determined by a permeation cell technique. Some films partially restricted passage of the fumigant to the fruit and CRS survival was high, while permeability of other films differed little from unrestricted exposure on nonwrapped fruit and CRS survival was low. For films with low permeability to HCN, increasing the HCN concentration or the length of fumigation time are possible methods of increasing the amount of HCN that penetrates to the fruit for control of quarantined insects. The permeability of film wrapping materials to fumigants should be a prime consideration when selecting films for wrapping citrus fruit in quarantine situations.

Open Access