The potential to adopt the Hill equation to describe ethylene effects on postharvest fruit softening

J. Tongonya, S.G. Gwanpua, A.R. East
Ethylene (ethene, C2H4) is a gaseous phytohormone that regulates quality changes during fruit ripening. Ethylene has found application in active ripening of fruits allowing provision to the market of ready-to-eat fruit. In other cases, ethylene is deliberately removed from the environment, or effects actively blocked (with 1-MCP) in order to prolong fruit storage. Fruit softening is one of the most important quality changes regulated by ethylene during ripening. Mathematical models have been developed for describing the time-progress of postharvest softening, as influenced by ethylene. Such models are useful tools for designing ripening protocols, or describing softening in ethylene influenced environments. Research aimed at understanding fruit specific molecular responses to environmental conditions during softening can be used to inform model development. Several softening models have been developed for different fruits. This review discusses approaches applied for mathematical modelling of fruit softening that incorporates C2H4 effects. Although simple models are required to enable industry application, sufficient knowledge is required to ensure adequate model performance. The objective of this paper is to discuss model development considerations (e.g. ethylene concentration-response relationships) and in particular the potential for the Hill equation to be applied to describe ethylene effects on postharvest softening in order to create models for firmness progression.
Tongonya, J., Gwanpua, S.G. and East, A.R. (2021). The potential to adopt the Hill equation to describe ethylene effects on postharvest fruit softening. Acta Hortic. 1311, 273-280
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1311.34
softening, ethylene, sensitivity, saturation, Hill equation

Acta Horticulturae