POSTHARVEST ETHYLENE APPLICATION AFFECTS ANTHOCYANIN CONTENT AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF BLUEBERRY CULTIVARS
Blueberries are highly perishable fruit valued for their high content of phytochemicals with antioxidant activity. Ethylene triggers gene expression related to anthocyanin biosynthesis. If this effect is observed in blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) there is a possibility for modulation of flavonoid content and antioxidant activity in this fruit. Northern highbush blueberry fruit from cultivars Bluecrop, Goldtraube, and Ozarkblue were harvested at commercial maturity in the region of Sever do Vouga, Portugal, cooled to 4°C, and treated with ethylene at 1000 µl/L for 24 h. Fruit were subsequently packaged in ventilated PET clamshells and stored at 4°C, 70-80% RH, for 56 days. The rate of weight loss and titratable acidity were not affected by the ethylene treatment in Bluecrop and Ozarkblue, but the acidity in Goldtraube treated with ethylene is higher. The soluble solids content was higher in ethylene-treated Bluecrop and Goldtraube, but was not in affected Ozarkblue. Color and firmness were not affected by ethylene. The anthocyanins and antioxidant activity were enhanced by the treatment of ethylene in Bluecrop and Goldtraube, but were not in Ozarkblue; total phenol content was higher in Goldtraube treatment with ethylene. In conclusion, exogenous ethylene induced a cultivar-specific increase in anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity of blueberry without significant depreciation of other quality attributes.
Costa, D.V.T.A., Pintado, M. and Almeida, D.P.F. 2014. POSTHARVEST ETHYLENE APPLICATION AFFECTS ANTHOCYANIN CONTENT AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF BLUEBERRY CULTIVARS. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1017:525-530
phytochemicals functional quality, conservation, Vaccinium corymbosum