National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration1
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) needs proper post-harvest treatment to prolong its storage life. This study investigated the effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on the quality and storage life of asparagus. Fresh-harvested asparagus was treated with 1-MCP (1 mg･L-1), CEPA (10 mg･L-1), and 1-MCP (1 mg･L-1) + CEPA (10 mg･L-1) and compared with an untreated control. The carbon dioxide (co2) production, ethylene production, and morphological characteristics of the preserved asparagus were observed. The flow-system and the static-type measurement methods for ethylene and co2 production (respiration rate) were used. Weight loss, respiration rate, degree of freshness, and ethylene production were monitored during storage at 7°C. The results further showed that CEPA (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) treatment had greater effects on co2 and ethylene production than using the 1-MCP process. The asparagus treated with CEPA or 1-MCP + CEPA had significantly increased the ethylene production rate compared to the control or using only 1-MCP during storage. There were no evident changes in the respiration rate of asparagus under 1-MCP treatment as compared with the control. Using the flow-system, slight differences in the rates of co2 and ethylene production were noted as compared to using the static type. Findings showed that in using the flow-system, asparagus manifested clearer results as compared with the static type. Weight loss in asparagus was significantly lower in control and 1-MCP treated samples than in those treated with CEPA. Likewise, the co2 and ethylene production of the CEPA treated samples significantly increased. The 1-MCP treatment reduced the effects of CEPA on weight loss, soluble solids content, and osmolality. The effect was not observed with exogenous ethylene as CEPA treatment had no visible effect as compared to the untreated group. Thus, 1-MCP treatment of asparagus could slightly reduce damage to the quality of asparagus during its distribution where ethylene gas is produced. Therefore, this study suggests that 1-MCP treatment can reduce the damage induced by ethylene gas on asparagus in poor distribution environments.
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