Effect of 1-MCP treatment and increasing storage temperature in ‘Gala’ apple grown in southern Brazil and stored under commercial conditions

ISHS Secretariat
Effect of 1-MCP treatment and increasing storage temperature in ‘Gala’ apple grown in southern Brazil and stored under commercial conditions

Felix Büchele is a PhD candidate from the University of Hohenheim, currently conducting research at the Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee in Ravensburg, Germany, studying postharvest physiology of horticultural crops. Although long-term cold storage has become an essential part of the production and marketing strategy of apples worldwide, it remains associated with significant risks, as well as high energy usage, and subsequently high costs. Previous studies conducted in Europe suggested that increasing the storage room temperature by a few degrees could significantly reduce energy consumption though continuing to provide beneficial control of physiological or pathogen-caused disorders. Detrimental effects on the maintenance of key quality parameters, which could be expected with elevated storage temperatures, may be compensated by application of the ethylene inhibitor 1-MCP. However, this practice may not be suitable for fruit grown in humid regions in Brazil, which are faced with higher fungal decay incidences. In our study, ‘Gala’ apples were harvested over the course of multiple seasons from 2011 to 2016, in different orchards in southern Brazil. Fruit was picked at early and advanced maturity and subsequently stored for up to seven months in controlled atmosphere settings and temperatures of either 0.7 or 2.0°C, with and without 1-MCP application. After storage, the main quality parameters were analyzed, and the fruit were assessed for fungal decay and physiological disorder symptoms. Fruit maturity was found to have a major effect on storability, as lower retention of firmness and acidity were observed in late harvested apples, as well as significantly higher incidence of fungal decay, flesh browning, and cracking. Applying 1-MCP improved firmness, while also reducing flesh browning and cracking symptoms in the late harvested fruit. Results showed that by increasing room temperatures to 2.0°C, the energy consumption of evaporator fans could be reduced by about 21%. Application of 1-MCP compensated for the detrimental effects of elevated temperatures on fruit quality maintenance. This study confirmed that ‘Gala’ apples grown in humid subtropical regions can be stored at higher room temperatures to save energy, if treated with 1-MCP.

Felix Büchele won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the International Symposium on Postharvest Technologies to Reduce Food Losses at IHC2022 in France in August 2022.

Felix Büchele, Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee, Schuhmacherhof 6, 88213 Ravensburg, Germany, e-mail: felix.buechele@kob-bavendorf.de

The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

Young Minds Award Winners