The effect of four concentration levels of 1-methylcyclopropene-C4H6 (17.5µl/L, 10.5µl/L, 3.5 µl/L and 0 µl/L or untreated control) was investigated under ambient conditions (22+1 °C and 80 + 5% RH) on physicochemical quality attributes and shelf life extension of dessert banana (Musa AAA Group, Cavendish Subgroup, cultivar ‘Poyo’, syn: ‘Robusta’). Treatment with increased concentration levels of C4H6 generally extended shelf life and maintained better quality of fresh banana fruits. The longest shelf life (36 days) with the lowest changes in physicochemical properties was obtained when fruits were treated with the highest concentration of C4H6 (17.5µl/L). This could be credited to the higher inhibitory effect of C4H6 on both the biosynthesis and action of ethylene when applied at the stated level of concentration. Hence, this technique could be considered as a less complicated and less costly postharvest handling alternative under ambient conditions, especially to the conventional temperature controlled (14oC) reefer container-based transportation system currently employed in Ethiopia and elsewhere for fresh banana exports.
Keywords: Dessert banana; 1-methylcyclopropene (C4H6); shelf-life; physicochemical quality