Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (1) 11-17 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.1.2|
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article
Post-harvest retention of apple fruit firmness by 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment or dynamic CA storage with chlorophyll fluorescence (DCA-CF)
A. Zanella and O. Rossi
Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Auer (Ora), BZ, Italy
Over a period of 6 years, fruits of the six most
commonly grown apple cultivars in Europe (‘Braeburn’,
‘Cripps Pink’, ‘Fuji’, ‘Gala’, ‘Golden Delicious’,
‘Red Delicious’) were harvested at the same site on
3 successive dates, at beginning, mid and end of the
optimal harvest window (OHW), and stored in controlled
atmosphere for 5 to 7.5 months under ULO (at
1 kPa O2 and 1 or 1.5 kPa CO2) and/or CA (at 1.5 kPa
O2 and 1 or 1.3 kPa CO2) storage conditions with and
without prior exposure to 1-MCP (SmartFreshTM). In
addition, fruit samples were exposed to the novel
DCA-CF storage technique with dynamic O2 < 0.7 kPa
level guided by chlorophyll fluorescence sensing.
The fruit firmness differences obtained by means
of 1-MCP or DCA-CF were compared using untreated
ULO and/or CA-stored fruits as reference, directly
after storage and also after a subsequent ‘shelf-life’
period of 7 days, at 20°C.
At the end of the storage period, results varied
depending on the cultivar and the reference conditions.
The highest efficacy of the more advanced
storage techniques (1-MCP or DCA-CF), compared
to ULO, in increasing fruit firmness was observed
on the cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’. Both techniques
resulted in increased fruit firmness also on ‘Braeburn’,
but on this cultivar DCA-CF storage proved to
be more effective than the 1-MCP treatment. 1-MCPtreated
and untreated ‘Red Delicious’ fruits were
exposed to both reference storage conditions, CA
and ULO. Only when fruits were compared to the
sub-optimal CA storage condition, noticeable differences
emerged, with both the innovative techniques
providing a considerable increase in fruit firmness.
On ‘Cripps Pink’, both, the 1-MCP treatment and
DCA-CF storage, increased fruit firmness, while on
‘Fuji’ and ‘Gala’ firmness got only slightly increased
in comparison to the reference storage condition
(ULO). Among fruits harvested at different ripening
stages no considerable differences in the gain
of fruit firmness obtained by the means of the novel
storage methods emerged, for none of the cultivars.
Malus × domestica, controlled atmosphere, chlorophyll
fluorescence, 1-methylcyclopropene, dynamic controlled
atmosphere, fruit firmness
Significance of this study
What is already known on this subject?
What are the new findings?
In order to preserve in the long-term one of the
most important quality traits of apple fruit -pulp
firmness-, CA storage is applied: at ultra low oxygen
level; dynamic CA by means of chlorophyll fluorescence
or 1-MCP. These technologies have diverse
impact, depending mainly on cultivar, maturity, season,
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
A systematic confrontation at comparable conditions
during 6 seasons allows to assess the impact of high
end storage technologies, mainly dynamic CA (DCACF)
and 1-MCP (SmartFreshTM), with optimal CA as
the reference, on fruit firmness of 6 most common
Robust postharvest data from different seasons and
maturity degrees of 6 apple cultivars give an insight
on the influence of low oxygen or of ethylene action
inhibition on apple fruit softening, presenting an
overview on the impact and efficacy of high end storage
technologies, such as DCA-CF or SmartFreshTM.
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Received: 2 December 2013 | Accepted: 5 August 2014 | Published: 26 February 2015 | Available online: 26 February 2015