1-MCP Inhibits Kiwifruit Softening During Storage

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Minimizing flesh softening after harvest is the key to successful long-term kiwifruit storage. Delaying kiwifruit softening reduces decay and extends kiwifruit market life. Flesh softening occurs rapidly during the first few weeks of air storage. Even when fruit are held at 0°C (32°F), approximately one-third to one-half of the remaining flesh firmness may be lost per month. Kiwifruit are highly sensitive to ethylene exposure during postharvest handling. Very low ethylene levels (5-10 ppb) will induce fruit softening. Thus, ethylene removal and/or exclusion (continuous ventilation) from transport and storage facilities are highly recommended for long-term storage of kiwifruit. 1-MCP has been proven to be an effective inhibitor of ethylene action. We investigated the potential use of 1-MCP as a tool to reduce ethylene action and to limit softening during storage at 1.1°C (34°F).

Carlos H. Crisosto
David Garner
UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology