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Roy E. McDonald, T. Gregory McCollum, and Harold E. Nordby

The effects of temperature conditioning (7 days at 21C), application of safflower oil, squalane or squalene (all 10% in hexane spray), and a commercial wax (Flavorseal) on gas diffusion of `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) were studied. Gas diffusion was determined by either ethane influx or ethylene efflux. Less ethane diffused into fruit that were temperature conditioned compared with nonconditioned, and into squalene-treated compared with nonsqualene-treated fruit. As a percent of non-treated controls, ethane influx was 83, 60, 25, and 14 for the surface treatments Flavorseal, safflower oil, squalene and squalane, respectively. Surface treatments were also applied to fruit that were producing ethylene due to previous chilling injury. Squalane was the most restrictive of ethylene efflux followed by safflower oil, squalene, and Flavorseal. All of the surface treatments used have been reported to reduce chilling injury in grapefruit. Perhaps, their molecular structure influences the expression of chilling injury.

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G. Martínez, M.T. Pretel, M. Serrano, and F. Riquelme

Resistance (R) to preloaded gas diffusion was used to follow the evolution of R during cherimoya fruit maturation and senescence. Cherimoya ethane diffusion was linear and gave an R value of 2048 ± 167 s·cm-1 for preclimacteric fruit. R increased linearly during maturation, and significant differences were noted between fruit in which diffusion through the stem scar was or was not blocked with petroleum ielly.

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Roy E. McDonald, T. Gregory McCollum, and Harold E. Nordby

`Marsh' Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) were temperature conditioned (7 days at 15C), wiped with hexane, treated with squalene, squalane, or safflower oil (all 10% in hexane), or waxed with a commercial fruit wax (Flavorseal) to determine their effects on weight loss, chilling injury (Cl) symptoms on the peel, and gas exchange. Following 3 weeks of storage at SC, wiping fruit with hexane resulted in a significant decrease in weight loss, but not CI. Temperature conditioning and Flavorseal independently inhibited weight loss and Cl development. Squalene inhibited CI development, but not weight loss. Chilling injury on fruit treated with squalene or Flavorseal was similar in appearance, but significantly less common than that on nontreated fruit. Grapefruit peel accounted for 92% of the gas diffusion of fruit, and resistance coefficients for peel and whole fruit were similar. Less ethane diffused into fruit that were: temperature-conditioned compared with nonconditioned, hexane wiped compared with nonhexane-wiped, and squalene-treated compared with nonsqualene treated fruit. Ethane influx was significantly restricted into squalane- and squalane-treated fruit compared with Flavorseal- or safflower oil-treated fruit. Oxygen and CO2 influx was significantly reduced by Flavorseal, safflower oil, squalene, and squalane. Squalane was the most restrictive of ethylene efflux followed by safflower oil, squalene, and Flavorseal. All of these surface treatments are known to reduce CI on grapefruit. These data indicate that water loss is less important to the development of Cl than has been previously suggested, and that the beneficial effects of squalene are not the result of an inhibition of water loss. Permeability of grapefruit peel to gases other than H2O vapor may also influence the expression of Cl.

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Rufino Perez and Randolph M. Beaudry

We hypothesized that the blocking of O2 influx and CO2 efflux in banana (Musa acuminata) by sealing nearly 100% of the pores over a fraction of the surface would generate a modified internal atmosphere in a manner similar to fruit coatings that cover 100% of the banana surface but only block a fraction of the pores. This hypothesis was based on the observation made by previous workers that the flesh of mature green bananas has insignificant resistance to O2 diffusion relative to the resistance imposed by the skin of the fruit. We modified the O2 diffusion pathway in bananas by covering, beginning at one end, ¼, ½, ¾, and ⅞ of the fruit surface with paraffin, which sealed essentially 100% of the surface where it was applied. Large end-to-end O2 and CO2 gradients developed within coated fruit, relative to the uncoated control, suggesting that the diffusive resistance in the pulp was not insignificant. Since the large gradients of O2 generated caused uneven ripening, using fractional coatings may help analyze gas exchange properties, but it is not suitable for commercially controlling ripening of bananas.

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Xuetong Fan and James P. Mattheis

Enclosing `Fuji' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit in paper bags 2 months after full bloom delayed the increase in internal ethylene concentration at the onset of fruit ripening, and increased the respiration rate early in the bagging period. Bagging delayed and reduced red color development, especially on the blush side, but did not affect fruit resistance to gas diffusion. External surface color changed significantly within the first 4 days after bags were removed. Exclusion of UV-B from sunlight by Mylar film after paper bag removal impaired red color development. Bagging during fruit development increased superficial scald but eliminated stain during cold storage. Exposure to sunlight for 19 or 20 days before harvest reduced scald incidence in comparison with leaving bags on until harvest.

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Dangyang Ke and Adel A. Kader

Fruits of `Bing' cherry (Prunus avium L.), `Red Jim' nectarine (Prunuspersica L.), `Angeleno' plum (Prunus salicina, L.), `Yellow Newtown' and `Granny Smith' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.), and `20th Century' pear (Pyrus serotina L.) were treated with 0.25% or 0.02% O2 (balance N2) at 0, 5, or 10C to study the effects of these insecticidal low-O2 atmospheres on their postharvest physiology and quality attributes. Development of alcoholic off-flavor was associated with ethanol accumulation, which was the most common and important detrimental effect that limited fruit tolerance to low O2. Relatively higher storage temperature (T), higher respiration rate (R), and greater resistance to gas diffusion (r) enhanced while relatively higher O2 concentration (C) and higher soluble solids concentration (SSC) reduced off-flavor development. Using a SAS computer program to do multiple regression analysis with T, C, R, r, and SSC as variables, models were developed for prediction of fruit tolerance to insecticidal low-O, atmospheres. Comparison of fruit tolerances and published information on the times required to completely kill specific insects by O2 levels at or below 1% suggests that low-O2 atmospheres have a good potential for use as postharvest quarantine treatments for some fruits.

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Dangyang Ke and Adel A. Kader

`Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] tolerated up to 20 days of exposure to 0.5%, 0.25%, or 0.02% O2, at 5 or 10C followed by holding in air at 5C for 7 days without any detrimental effects on external and internal appearance. Oranges stored in 0.5%, 0.25%, or 0.02% O2 had lower respiration rates, but higher resistance to CO, diffusion and higher ethanol evolution rates than those stored in air at 10C. Similar, but less pronounced, effects of the low O2 atmospheres were observed at O and SC. Respiration rates, internal CO2 concentrations, and ethanol evolution rates were generally higher at 10C than at 0C, while resistance to CO2 diffusion was lower at the higher temperature. `Valencia' oranges kept in 60% CO2 at 5C for 5 to 14 days followed by holding in air at 5C for 7 days developed slight to severe injury that was characterized by skin browning and lowered external appearance scores. Juice color, soluble solids content, pH, titratable acidity, and ascorbic acid content were not significantly influenced by either the low O2 or the high CO2 treatments. However, these treatments increased ethanol and acetaldehyde contents, which correlated with the decrease in flavor score of the fruits. Ethanol content of the oranges transferred to air following low 02 treatment correlated with CO2 production rate of the fruits at the transfer temperature and was related to ethanol evolution and probably production rates after the transfer.

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Aref A. Abdul-Baki and Theophanes Solomos

The diffusion coefficient of CO2 in `Russet Burbank' potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers was determined under steady-state conditions at 10 and 27C. The data showed that the skin is the main barrier to gas diffusion, with an average diffusion coefficient of 6.57 × 10-7 and 7.61 × 10-7 cm·s-1 at 10 and 27C, respectively. The flesh also presents an appreciable barrier to gas diffusion. The average diffusion coefficient of CO2 in the flesh was 2.00 × 10-4 and 2.24 × 10-4 cm·s-1 at 10 and 27C, respectively. Under regular storage conditions, the tuber is well aerated and the concentration of O2 at the center of the tuber is sufficient to maintain aerobic respiration.

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Sannai Gong and Kenneth A. Corey

Procedures for predicting optimum packaging conditions of modified atmosphere packages (MAP) of tomato (`Heinz 1370') were developed. The relationship between O2 consumption rate and O2 concn (RRo2) was determined using O2 depletion data collected by enclosing tomatoes in jars and sampling head space O2 concn over time. The fitted function was then used in conjunction with other input variables: (1) film permeability to O2 (PO2), (2) film surface area (A), and (3) fruit weight in packages (Wp) to develop the final predictive equation based on Fick's law of gas diffusion. Predictive power of the equation was tested by comparing the steady state O2 concn achieved experimentally with those predicted for a wide range of packaging conditions. Packaging conditions included film surface area, weight of fruit in packages, and O2 permeability of the film (0.0426 and 0.0620 ml/kg hr). Prediction curves showing steady state O2 concn vs. packaging ratio (A/Wp) closely resembled the best fit curves of data. The effect of temperature on steady state O2 concn in MA bags was also examined. Increasing temperature from 20°C to 28±2°C had little effect but decreasing temperature to 10°C led to higher in-package O2 concn. Results indicate that predictive equations can be used to select appropriate films and optimize packaging ratios to achieve desired steady state O2 concn for MAP of tomatoes.

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D.D. Archbold, T.R. Hamilton-Kemp, M.M. Barth, and B.E. Langlois

A number of natural volatile compounds exhibit promise as postharvest fumigants for control of Botrytis on strawberry fruit. Because some of compounds may cause apparent phytotoxic responses by the fruit, short duration treatment is desirable. The compounds have been evaluated in single fruit bioassays with passively established modified atmospheres using a polymer film. The compound source was removed after 3 hours, 1, 3, or 7 days, or remained in the containers for the 10 day duration of the study. At levels which inhibited Botrytis in closed containers without film, E-2-hexenal was effective with a 1-day treatment, diethyl acetal was increasingly effective as treatment period increased, and 2-nonanone and methyl salicylate were not effective with continuous treatment. The levels of both the source compound and its metabolites were different using the film than without it. The film, used to allow gas diffusion and exchange with the surrounding environment, may allow diffusion of the volatile compounds and their metabolites. Thus, successful use of the compounds in modified atmosphere storage may require knowledge of their diffusion through the films to establish the appropriate levels for effective fumigation of the fruit and avoid adverse quality effects.