Postharvest application of 1-MCP and ethylene influences fruit softening and quality of 'arctic pride' nectarine at ambient conditions
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Fruit softening in nectarine is a limiting factor for their extended postharvest life with best quality. Effects of postharvest exogenous applications of 1-MCP (1 µL L-1), ethylene (10 µL L-1) or 1-MCP (1 µL L-1) followed by ethylene (10 µL L-1) for 12 h on 'Arctic Pride' nectarine were investigated for changes in fruit softening and quality during ripening at ambient temperature (20 ± 1o C; 60-65% RH). Untreated fruit were kept as control and stored at the same conditions i.e. 20 ± 1o C; 60-65% RH. 1-MCP application significantly reduced ethylene production and activities of fruit softening enzymes, including pectin esterase (PE), endo-1,4-ß-glucanase (EGase), endo-polygalacturonase (endo-PG), exo-polygalacturonase (exo-PG) as compared to ethylene treatment or control. A significant reduction in fruit weight loss, fruit softening, total sugars and organic acids was also observed with the application of 1-MCP, as compared to ethylene-treated or control fruit. Exogenous application of 1-MCP maintained individual sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and organic acids (malic, shikimic, succinic, and citric acid) at higher levels and delayed ripening of nectarine fruit, as compared to ethylene or untreated fruit during ripening. In conclusion, 1-MCP application delayed fruit ripening by inhibiting ethylene production and the activities of fruit softening enzymes and maintained the quality of nectarine fruit as compared to ethylene-treated or control fruit during ripening.
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