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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (1) 33-38 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.1.5
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Effect of high temperature and 1-MCP application or dynamic controlled atmosphere on energy savings during apple storage

D. Kittemann, R. McCormick and D.A. Neuwald
Competence Center for Fruit Growing – Lake Constance and Physiology of Specialty Crops, University of Hohenheim, Ravensburg, Germany

The aim of this work was to evaluate the energy saving benefits that new storage strategies such as ULO storage + 1-MCP at higher temperatures and DCA may have when compared to standard ULO. The experiment was carried out in three storage rooms (11 tons each) under ULO conditions (1.0 kPa O2 + 2.5 kPa CO2) at 1°C or ULO at 5°C plus 1-MCP or DCA controlled by chlorophyll fluorescence (~0.7 kPa O2 + 1.5 kPa CO2) at 1°C. The apple cultivars ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Pinova’ were stored for 7 months and the energy consumption for each of the three rooms calculated from the refrigeration compressors, ventilation fans, defrosting and CO2 scrubber machinery run-times. Energy use was reduced by 20% in DCA and 70% in ULO + 1-MCP at 5°C when compared to ULO at 1°C. Apples stored at 5°C showed a lower weight loss when compared to 1°C. Despite a higher storage temperature, 1-MCP treated ‘Jonagold’ at 5°C were firmer than fruit under either ULO or DCA at 1°C without 1-MCP. The firmness of ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Pinova’ did not differ between treatments. The incidence of fungal rots was slightly increased under ULO + 1-MCP at 5°C for ‘Jonagold’, but strongly reduced for ‘Pinova’. There were no treatment differences in rot incidence for ‘Golden Delicious’. Sensorial analyses conducted after storage plus 7 days shelf-life at 20°C rated the texture of ‘Jonagold’ higher for ULO at 5°C + 1-MCP than for ULO at 1°C without 1-MCP and accordingly, purchase preferences were higher for ‘Jonagold’ under ULO at 5°C + 1-MCP. ‘Pinova’ texture was rated best after DCA at 1°C. There were no differences in the texture preferences between ULO at 5°C + 1-MCP or ULO at 1°C without 1-MCP or any differences in taste preferences between the storage treatments for either ‘Jonagold’ or ‘Pinova’.

Keywords Malus domestica Borkh., rots, carbon footprint, fruit quality, weight loss, refrigeration machinery, cooling

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Besides his importance for ripening processes, temperature is an important aspect concerning energy consumption. Previous results have shown during 5.5 months of ‘Gala’ storage a proportionate energy consumption of about 40% for the compressors and the ventilation fans respectively.
What are the new findings?
  • Modern storage technologies, such as 1-MCP or DCA, have the potential to compensate for the negative influence of increased storage temperatures and thus provide the possibility to reduce energy consumption when compared to conventional ULO storage.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • With rising energy prices and the demand for sustainable food production measures to reduce the energy consumption are becoming more and more important. For fruit farmers and fruit trade therefore saving energy is not just a cost issue, but also a question of competition.

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Received: 13 May 2013 | Accepted: 29 August 2013 | Published: 26 February 2015 | Available online: 26 February 2015

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