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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (1) 18-24 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.1.3
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Fruit quality as affected by 1-MCP treatment and DCA storage - a comparison of the two methods

S. Gabioud Rebeaud and F. Gasser
Agroscope, Institute for Food Sciences, Switzerland

Two new tools for better preservation of fruit quality have been developed in recent years, the treatment of apples with 1-MCP and dynamic controlled atmosphere storage (DCA). The effect of 1-MCP treatment and DCA on ethylene production and quality of ‘Golden Delicious’ apples harvested at two different ripening stages was evaluated in our study over two consecutive years. 1-MCP treatment delayed the climacteric increase of ethylene production and led to better retention of quality during RA- and ULO-storage and subsequent shelf life compared to non-treated apples. In order to achieve the optimum effect of 1-MCP, the treatment must be carried out within 7 days after harvest, as recommended by the supplier of 1-MCP. In most cases, DCA improved quality retention during storage in terms of fruit firmness and acidity compared to ULO-storage. The use of the two methods depends on the cultivars stored and conditions such as the infrastructure of the storage facility and type of handling and marketing of the apples.

Keywords DCA, 1-MCP, ethylene, fruit quality, maturity

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • The application of 1-MCP and of the dynamic CA-storage (DCA) are well known technological methods in order to retain apple fruit quality during industrial storage and during subsequent shelf life. The two methods are widely used today in Western Europe.
What are the new findings?
  • Based on long-term storage trials with identical fruit of selected apple cultivars, 1-MCP treatment and DCA could be compared directly with regard to fruit quality and physiological behavior of fruit.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • Results show, that both methods are effective, but that the fruit quality retention during storage and subsequent shelf life is more consistent for the 1-MCP treatment than for DCA. However, the question, which method is best applied in practice, depends on the specific situation of consumer demands, logistics and marketing of apples.

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Received: 28 January 2013 | Accepted: 10 October 2013 | Published: 26 February 2015 | Available online: 26 February 2015

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