1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) has been shown to counteract ethylene responses in plants in many studies. The traditional 1-MCP treatment is conducted in an air-tight facility by fumigating with 1-MCP for 12 to 24 h. However, the facility for the treatment should be as tight as possible to prevent gas leakage and its availability could be a limitation for commercial use. The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a new 1-MCP treatment mode for delaying ripeness by using Nanguo pears as material and comparing with both traditional 1-MCP treatment (T2) and without 1-MCP treatment (CT). In the novel treatment, harvested pear fruits were put in plastic bag; a small self-sealing bag containing 1-MCP complex powder were put in the bag after being punctured with a pin. The powder released 1-MCP gas when in contact with the water vapor produced by the fruit itself through transpiration during storage. The treatment of fumigating with 1-MCP as usual and treatment without 1-MCP were used as the controls. All treated fruits were stored at about 20°C and analyzed every 7 days for up to 42 days. Compared to traditional 1-MCP treatment (T2), the new treatment (T1) showed similar results in terms of delayed ripening, suppressed respiration and ethylene climacteric. It also markedly retarded the rate of softening and ripeness index, delayed the peak of total phenol amount both in flesh and peel. It was noted that the novel 1-MCP treatment could achieve comparable effect with the traditional 1-MCP treatment. It has the advantage and practicality of not needing special facilities, and, therefore, the potential of providing an alternative way for 1-MCP treatment to delay fruit ripening and senescence process, and control quality changes during the storage of fruit.
Key words: 1-Methylcyclopropene, ripening, softening, pears.
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