Effects of ethrel, 1-MCP and modified atmosphere packaging on the quality of 'Wonderful' pomegranates during cold storage

J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Oct;98(13):4854-4865. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9015. Epub 2018 May 10.


Background: Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a non-climacteric fruit susceptible to chilling injury (CI) at temperatures below 5 °C. To understand the influences of ethylene and modified atmosphere on CI physiological disorders of pomegranate, exogenous ethrel (0.5, 1 and 1.5 µg L-1 ) treatments, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) (1 µL L-1 ) exposure, packaging in a modified atmosphere (MAP) (XTend™ bags; StePac, São Paulo, Brazil), a MAP/1-MCP combination, and packaging in macro-perforated bags (MPB) were applied. The treated fruits were cold stored (2 ± 1 °C; 85% relative humidity) and sampled during 120 + 3 days at 20 °C.

Results: During cold storage, CI symptoms started at 20 days in MPB and at 60 days for all exogenous ethylene treatments, and were delayed to 120 days in MAP, 1-MCP and MAP/1-MCP treatments. MPB and ethylene treatments induced significant electrolyte leakage, oxidative damage, lipid peroxidation, ethylene and CO2 production, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase activity, without any change in total soluble solids, titratable acidity or skin and aril colours. Conversely, MAP by itself, or in combination with 1-MCP application, effectively delayed CI symptoms.

Conclusion: During long-term cold storage of this non-climacteric fruit, ethrel application induced endogenous ethylene biosynthesis, accelerating the appearance of CI symptoms in contrast to the observations made for MAP and 1-MCP treatments. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: PgACO; PgACS; chilling injury; cold storage; ethylene biosynthesis; pomegranate.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Atmosphere / analysis
  • Cold Temperature
  • Cyclopropanes / pharmacology*
  • Food Packaging
  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Food Storage
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Fruit / drug effects
  • Lythraceae / chemistry
  • Lythraceae / drug effects*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology*


  • Cyclopropanes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • 1-methylcyclopropene
  • ethephon