An experiment was conducted during the year 2010 to evaluate the effect of the treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on the ripening process of sapodilla fruits, after refrigeration. The fruits were exposed to 0 and 1 µL/L of 1-MCP for 24 h in airtight chambers at 25°C, after which they were stored at 16°C for four periods of refrigeration (0, 11, 18 and 25 days). At the end of each refrigeration period, the samples were allowed to ripe at 25°C. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of 1-MCP in significantly delaying (P≤0.05) the ripening process of sapodilla fruits and extending the post-harvest life to 28 days. It was possible to observe a reduction and delay in the climacteric maximums of ethylene and respiration, and a delay in the maximum activity of the pectin methyl esterase enzyme (PME), while weight loss was also reduced. In general, the quality characteristics of ripe fruits were maintained, except for a significant increase in the total soluble solids content of the fruits treated. These results indicate that the treatment with 1-MCP, combined with refrigeration, is an adequate alternative for increasing the shelf life of sapodilla with the aim of facilitating its commercialization.
Key words: Sapodilla, 1-methylcyclopropene, ripening, post-harvest, shelf life, refrigeration.
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