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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (1) 25-32 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.1.4
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) applications under elevated storage temperatures: Effects on fruit quality of 'Elstar', 'Jonagold' and 'Gloster' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.)

D. Köpcke
Fruit Research Center Jork, Chamber of Agriculture Lower Saxony, Germany

The effects of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) and combination of both on fruit quality of ‘Elstar’, ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Gloster’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) were tested at three different storage temperatures. 1-MCP treatment and DCA storage prolonged storage- and shelf-life as indicated by delayed loss of firmness and titratable acids (TA) in all three cultivars. 1-MCP was more effective than DCA especially in prolonging shelf-life. At higher storage temperature of 3.5–10°C best results were achieved by the combination of 1-MCP plus DCA. Fruit firmness of apples stored under these conditions was similar or even superior to firmness of fruit stored under standard ULO conditions at 2°C. The current commercial firmness demand were fulfilled in most cases even at higher storage temperature. However, TA reduction by higher temperature could not be effectively slowed down by 1-MCP, DCA or the combination of both. 1-MCP treatment promoted the development of skin spots in ‘Elstar’ apples. The combination of 1-MCP and DCA led to less skin spots than 1-MCP alone, whereas DCA alone was most effective in reducing incidence of skin spots. Internal browning in ‘Elstar’ apples was increased by higher temperature, by 1-MCP and to a lesser extent DCA treatments whereby DCA moderated the negative effect of 1-MCP. Higher temperatures promoted the dissipation of watercore in ‘Gloster’ apples, resulting in reduced injury from associated internal browning. In contrast, 1-MCP reduced watercore dissipation and increased internal browning while DCA had no negative effect on watercore. Moreover, DCA prevented the transformation of watercore to flesh browning in 1-MCP treated apples. It was concluded that the combination of 1-MCP and DCA storage is more favorable than 1-MCP or DCA alone especially at higher storage temperature.

Keywords chlorophyll fluorescence, firmness, titratable acidity, soluble solids content, watercore, skin spots, internal browning

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • 1-MCP and DCA storage maintain fruit quality better than standard CA/ULO storage.
What are the new findings?
  • The combination of 1-MCP and DCA storage is more favorable on maintaining fruit quality than 1-MCP or DCA alone especially at higher storage temperature.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The opportunity to store at higher temperatures offers great economic and environmental benefits.

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Received: 13 January 2013 | Accepted: 10 October 2013 | Published: 26 February 2015 | Available online: 26 February 2015

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