Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.
2017
Volume 20
Issue 4
Topic:
Horticulture
ELECTRONIC
JOURNAL OF
POLISH
AGRICULTURAL
UNIVERSITIES
Wrzodak A. , Szwejda-Grzybowska J. , Gajewski M. 2017. THE EFFECT OF 1-METHYLCYCLOPROPENE AND STORAGE CONDITIONS ON CHOSEN QUALITY TRAITS OF "LONG SHELF LIFE" (LSL) TOMATO FRUIT, IN RELATION TO GROWING SEASON , EJPAU 20(4), #05.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume20/issue4/art-05.html

THE EFFECT OF 1-METHYLCYCLOPROPENE AND STORAGE CONDITIONS ON CHOSEN QUALITY TRAITS OF "LONG SHELF LIFE" (LSL) TOMATO FRUIT, IN RELATION TO GROWING SEASON

Anna Wrzodak1, Justyna Szwejda-Grzybowska1, Marek Gajewski2
1 Institute of Horticulture, Poland
2 Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Vegetable and Medicinal Plants, Poland

 

ABSTRACT

Treatment of horticultural produce with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is a novel method used to extend storage life and to improve postharvest quality of different fruits and vegetables. In tomato production, several LSL (“Long Shelf Life”) cultivars with a gene prolonging ripening process, of longer shelf life, were introduced to practice. It is assumed that 1-MCP treatment of such fruit could improve its storage ability and shelf life even further. The aim of the 2-year study was to investigate the effect of 1-MCP treatment on some quality traits of stored tomato fruit ‘Habana’ F1, the cultivar of LSL type, in relation to storage temperature. Tomatoes, which were grown on stakes in open field, were harvested at mature-green stage, treated with 1-MCP in concentration of 1.0 µL·L-1 and then stored at a cold store under the two temperature variants (12.5°C and 20°C). There were determined after 4 weeks of storage: lycopene, total phenolics, ascorbic acid, total sugars contents, as well as titratable acidity and pH of the fruit. Results of the study showed big differentiation in chemical composition of the tomato fruit depending on 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature, but also differences between growing seasons. The relationship between experimental factors studied was not clear and differed between the years. Therefore, it can be concluded in general that the effect of 1-MCP treatment strongly depends on initial physiological state of tomato fruit, which is modified by environmental conditions during growing season. After the storage, a tendency to higher content of phenolics for the fruit treated with 1-MCP was observed. Tomatoes treated with 1-MCP were not significantly affected in terms of lycopene,  sugars contents and pH compared to the untreated ones, but a tendency to lower content ascorbic acid in the 1-MCP treated fruits was observed. It was also found a tendency to higher titratable acidity for 1-MCP treated fruit.

Key words: biological value, tomato, shelf life, storage, 1-MCP .

INTRODUCTION

Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) are very important vegetable in human nutrition as they contain a lot of bioactive compounds [17]. Fresh and processed tomatoes are considered as the basic vegetable, suitable to protect human from cancer diseases, especially from prostate cancer [9, 15] and heart diseases [1, 2, 31]. Carotenoid, including lycopene, and phenolic compounds belong to the major contributors to antioxidant activity of fruit and vegetables. Toor and Savage [33] reported that phenolics in tomatoes contribute by about 55% to the antioxidant activity.

There is a need to increase storage ability of vegetables, which is useful for long-distance transport or to prolong ‘shelf life’ of the produce. Therefore, various methods for postharvest treatment of the crops, including 1-MCP treatment, were introduced to horticultural practice. 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) blocks ethylene receptors in cells and prevents ethylene effects in vegetable plant tissues [3, 24, 35]. Tomato fruit is classified as medium-sensitive to ethylene [21]. According to several authors, different factors, including cultivar, ripening stage and storage temperature significantly influence postharvest life and nutritional and sensory quality of tomatoes, as well as the dose and duration of 1-MCP treatment [13, 23, 25, 27, 37]. Tomato fruit treated with 1-MCP shows low respiration rate, ethylene production and weight loss, slower lycopene accumulation and external colour development and prolonged postharvest life than untreated fruit [3, 26, 34, 36].

Tomato fruit obtained from F1 hybrid cultivars with a gene determining long-shelf life (LSL) is characterized by high firmness, what is an important trait for transport and storage [8]. These cultivars differ also from the traditional ones in respect of other important quality attributes, such as colour, texture, taste and nutritional quality [14]. Fresh tomatoes with LSL gene are often harvested at green stage to minimize handling injuries and to maximize postharvest life. However, when the fruit is harvested at near full-ripe stage, it shows better flavour and higher content of sugars and organic acids. There is shortage of information on the influence of 1-MCP treatment on phytochemicals in LSL tomato fruit. As we had found in our previous, initial studies [37, 38], this method could be useful to extend even more shelf-life of the fruit, similarly as it was introduced into practice in the case of ‘traditional’ tomato cultivars and several other species of fruits and vegetables.

The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of 1-MCP treatment at the concentration 1.0 µL·L-1 on some quality traits of tomato fruit ‘Habana’ F1, the cultivar with LSL gene, harvested at mature-green stage and stored at the two temperature variants (12.5°C and 20°C). The additional aim was and to determine differences in the 1-MCP effect on tomato fruit obtained in two growing seasons. Therefore, the study was carried out in two years.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Plant material
The plant material was purchased from a commercial farm in central Poland. The storage experiment was conducted in two growing seasons in the Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice. The cultivar used in the study was ‘Habana’ F1, with LSL gene (Western Seeds, Ltd., Holland; TmVF2N). The plants were grown on stakes in open field. Standard practices were applied during the cultivation. The fruit of the cultivar is of medium size (160–175 g weight). The fruit was harvested in the mature-green (MG) stage of maturity, which is defined by internal fruit structure indices (fruits are full-sized, seeds are fully developed and are not cut upon slicing the fruit). Immediately after harvest, chemical composition of the fruit in the first and the second season was as follows: lycopene content – 0.2 mg·100 g-1 f.w., ascorbic acid varied from 8.5 to 20.9 mg·100 g-1 f.w., total phenolics – 19.4–21.4 mg·100 g-1 f.w., total sugars – 2.7–2.9% f.w., titratable acidity – 0.5% and acidity (pH) – 4.4. Average sample weight was 80 kg. Tomatoes without defects, of the same size and without a calyx were selected for the experiment. All analysis and measurement were done on representative samples, taken in 4 replicates consisting of 20 fruit in each replicate. The tomatoes were stored in plastic boxes and covered in the boxes with perforated polyethylene film (PE). 1-MCP was applied directly after the fruit harvest as SmartFreshTM powder, containing 0.14% of active ingredient. The SmartFreshTM powder was placed into 500 mL Erlenmeyer flasks and afterwards distilled water was added to release 1-MCP in a gas form. The flask was then placed into 1 m3 volume sealed container. Tomato fruit was treated with 1.0 μL·L-1 of 1-MCP for 21 h at the temperature of 20ºC and 85–90% RH. Control tomatoes were kept under similar conditions, but without 1-MCP treatment. After the treatment, all fruits were stored for 4 weeks at the temperature of 12.5ºC (recommended for prolonged storage of tomatoes) or 20ºC (simulated retail conditions), 85–90% RH, in ambient atmosphere. After the storage, the fruits were analyzed for lycopene, ascorbic acid, total phenolics and sugars content, as well as pH and titratable acidity. Chemical analyses were conducted with 3 replications consist of 10 fruits in each replications from the fresh plant material and after 4 weeks of storage.

Analytical methods
Lycopene
5 g samples of tomatoes were blended for 5 minutes with 25 ml mixture of hexane-acetone (4:1 v/v), using Ultra-Turrax T-25 blender. The homogenate was centrifuged at 5000 G and organic fraction was collected. The residue was further extracted two times with 5 ml of hexane-acetone mixture until it was free of red pigment, indicating that lycopene had been completely extracted. All hexane acetone fractions were combined and washed several times with water until acetone was completely removed. Lycopene was separated from β-carotene by column chromatography on aluminum oxide, using method of Czapski and Saniewski [10]. The eluted lycopene fraction was evaporated to dryness in the dark at room temperature under stream of nitrogen and re-dissolved in appropriate volume of hexane for spectral measurement at 472 nm on UviLine 9400 spectrophotometer. The results were expressed in mg·100 g-1 FW.

Ascorbic acid
Ascorbic acid was determined according to Polish Standard [29]. 20 g samples of tomatoes were homogenized with 200 ml of 2% oxalic acid. The solution was then filtered. The filtrate was collected and then titrated with the 2.6-dichlorphenylindophenol. Ascorbic acid content was calculated from the standard curve and the results were expressed in mg·100 g-1 FW.

Total phenolics
10 g samples of tomatoes were homogenized with 60 ml of 50% aqueous methanol for 10 min using Ultra Turrax T-25 blender. The homogenate was then filtered thorough No. 2 Whatman paper on Büchner funnel under vacuum. The residue was re-extracted with 50% methanol and supernatants were pooled and transferred to 100 ml volumetric flask and filled to the mark with water. The extract was analyzed for total phenolics content. Total phenolics content was determined with Folin-Ciocalteau reagent, according to method used by Emmons et al. [11] and catechin was used as the standard. Results were expressed in mg·100 g-1 FW.

Total sugars
Total sugars content was determined with the standard Luff-Schoorl’s method. The data was expressed as % of FW.

Titratable acidity
Titratable acidity of the fruit was determined with titration method. Homogenized fruit pulp was titrated with 0.1 M NaOH. The data was expressed as % of citric acid in FW.

Acidity (pH)
pH value for the fruit pulp was determined with the potentiometric method, using the potentiometer equipped with two electrodes.

Statistical analysis
Results of the experiments were statistically evaluated with ANOVA (Statistica v.10 software), using two-factorial analysis. Tukey’s HSD test was then used to show which values differ significantly at P=0.05. Due to significant differences between seasons of the study, the results are discussed for each season separately.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Lycopene
In the case of lycopene content in tomato, there was significant influence of storage temperature – in the case of the higher temperature lycopene content was higher in two storage seasons. On the base of means of temperature variants 1-MCP treatment negatively affected lycopene content in the first storage season in the case of storage at the temperature of 20°C (Tab. 1). However, in the second season, the effect was different, since the content was lower at the temperature of 12.5°C. So, there was noticed different relationship for this compound content for the two temperature variants. The reason for this phenomenon is unknown, but it could be caused by the fruit quality variation between growing seasons. The highest content of lycopene was found for 1-MCP treated fruit, stored at 20°C, in the second season, and the lowest for 1-MCP treated fruits, stored at 12.5°C, in the same season. According to other authors, the environmental conditions are important factors influencing tomato plant growth and also quality of the fruit [7, 20]. There are reports that lycopene content in tomato fruit depends on fruit ripeness, cultivar [4, 22, 39] and storage temperature [19, 30]. Lycopene accumulation and chlorophyll degradation can be delayed by 1-MCP treatment of the fruit in different stages of maturity [18]. Ethylene can promote lycopene synthesis, so as to accelerate lycopene accumulation, therefore inhibition of ethylene production by 1-MCP treatment could be the reason of decreasing lycopene content after storage of 1-MCP treated fruit [16, 34].

Table 1. Effect of 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature on the content of lycopene and ascorbic acid in ‘Habana’ F1 tomatoes, harvested in mature-green stage, after 4-week storage in two growing seasons
Season No.
Storage
temperature
[°C] (A)
Lycopene
[mg·100 g-1]
Ascorbic acid
[mg·100 g-1]
Treatment (B)
Treatment (B)
Control
1-MCP
Control
1-MCP
1
12.5
0.7 a
1.9 c
1.3 A
5.6 a
12.1 c
8.9 A
20
1.4 b
0.6 a
2.0 B
9.6 b
11.3 bc
10.5 A
1.1 A
1.3 A
 
7.6 A
11.7 B
 
2
12.5
1.1 b
0.3 a
0.7 A
14.8 b
13.3 a
14.1 A
20
2.3 c
3.2 d
2.8 B
15.9 c
15.9 c
15.9 B
1.7 A
1.8 A
 
15.3 A
14.6 A
 
Note to Tab. 1–3: Means in columns and rows for each season marked with different capital letters differ significantly, according Tukey’s HSD test at P=0.05. Small letters within the table for each season show if the values differ significantly for AxB interaction, according to Tukey’s HSD test at P=0.05.

Ascorbic acid
The content of ascorbic acid (AA) depended significantly on storage temperature, but in the second season only (Tab. 1). The treatment with 1-MCP had significant influence on AA content in the first storage season. In the second season, the effect of 1-MCP was noticed in the lower storage temperature only. In the first season, higher content of AA was found for 1-MCP treated tomatoes. The differences between storage seasons in AA content after storage may result from different initial AA content in both years of the experiment. Overall, the lowest AA content was observed for untreated tomatoes stored at the temperature of 12.5°C (5.6 mg·100 g-1 FW) in the first season. The highest content of AA was found in treated and untreated tomatoes stored at 20°C (15.9 mg·100 g-1 FW) in the second season. Žnidarčič and Požrl [40] showed that total reduction of initial AA content was 3.5 mg·100 g-1 (at 5°C) and 2.5 mg·100 g-1 (at 10°C). According to Wang et al. [34] ascorbic acid content in 1-MCP treated fruit was always markedly higher than in control fruit after 8 days of storage. Other authors also observed influence of 1-MCP treatment on ascorbic acid content in fresh tomatoes [27, 32] and tomato juice [6].

Titratable acidity
In the first season, titratable acidity was higher for 1-MCP treated fruit, in both temperature variants (Tab. 2). In the second season, it was true for the lower temperature variant only. Mir et al. [25] did not find significant influence of 1-MCP treatment on titratable acidity of tomato fruit. Temperature of storage affected titratable acidity for the second season only. In that case the acidity was higher for temperature of 12.5°C than of 20°C. The effect of temperature is in agreement with reports of other authors [12, 31]. According to Toor and Savage [33] high acidity level relates to high vitamin C content in tomatoes. We did not found such relationship in the study.

Table 2. Effect of 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature on acidity (pH) and titratable acidity of ‘Habana’ F1 tomatoes harvested in mature-green stage, after 4-week storage in two growing seasons
Season No.
Storage
temperature
[°C] (A)
Titratable acidity
[%]
Acidity
[pH]
Treatment (B)
Treatment (B)
Control
1-MCP
Control
1-MCP
1
12.5
0.40 b
0.50 c
0.45 A
4.3 ab
4.2 a
4.3 A
20
0.30 a
0.50 c
0.40 A
4.4 b
4.2 a
4.3 A
0.35 A
0.50 B
 
4.4 A
4.2 A
 
2
12.5
0.40 b
0.50 b
0.45 B
4.5 b
4.3 a
4.4 A
20
0.20 a
0.20 a
0.20 A
4.7 c
4.7 c
4.7 B
0.30 A
0.35 A
 
4.6 A
4.5 A
 

Acidity (pH)
1-MCP treatment generally did not influence pH value of the tomato fruit (Tab. 2). This is in agreement with Castro et al. [5] and Mir et al. [25] results. We found small effect of storage temperature on pH value for the fruit. Higher pH value was noted for the fruit stored at the temperature of 20°C in the second season. According to [40], storage temperature had no effect on pH value for tomatoes.

Sugars
1-MCP treatment did not affect sugars content in tomato fruit in both seasons (Tab. 3). The effect of storage temperature was also insignificant. According to Mir et al. [25] and Phasey et al. [28] sugars content in tomato fruit treated with 1-MCP was lower than in control fruit.

Table 3. Effect of 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature on the content of sugars and phenolics in ‘Habana’ F1 tomatoes harvested in mature-green stage, after 4-week storage in two growing seasons
Season No.
Storage
temperature
[°C] (A)
Sugars
[% f.w.]
Phenolics
[mg·100 g-1]
Treatment (B)
Treatment (B)
Control
1-MCP
Control
1-MCP
1
12.5
2.9 b
2.7 a
2.8 A
18.1 b
19.4 c
18.8 A
20
2.6 a
2.7 a
2.7 A
16.3 a
19.1 c
17.7 A
2.8 A
2.7 A
 
17.2 A
19.3 B
 
2
12.5
2.9 ab
2.7 a
2.8 A
26.2 a
26.4 a
26.3 A
20
2.8 ab
3.0 b
2.9 A
49.6 b
51.8 b
50.7 B
2.9 A
2.9 A
 
37.9 A
39.1 A
 

Phenolics
The effect of 1-MCP treatment on phenolics content was different in the seasons and also related to storage temperature (Tab. 3). The content was significantly higher for 1-MCP treated fruits in the case of the first storage season. The effect of 1-MCP was not observed in the second season. In the second season, higher phenolics content was observed in the case of the lowers storage temperature. Wang et al. [34] reported that total phenolics content in 1-MCP treated tomato fruit was 13% higher than that in the control fruit after storage for 12 days. Toor and Savage [33] found out that the content of phenolics in tomatoes increased during storage, regardless of storage temperature. It was probably due to the disruption of vacuoles as a result of chilling injury that may have led to loss of some phenolic compounds.

Means of the storage seasons
In Table 4 means of the two storage seasons for all determined quality traits of the tomato fruit are shown. It can be seen that storage temperature influenced significantly chemical content of the fruit in the case of most components (with the exception of sugars). The influence of 1-MCP was more complicated and temperature dependent. These effects related also to the year of study. Since the tomato fruit showed different quality changes during storage period in each of the years of the experiment, it is difficult to draw general conclusions on 1-MCP effect on quality of the fruit. The reason why the tomatoes differed in this respect may be related to growing conditions in the field in each season. Therefore, the effect of 1-MCP on quality of LSL tomato fruit from field production needs further studies.

Table 4. Effect of 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature on quality traits of ‘Habana’ F1 tomatoes harvested in mature-green stage, after 4-week storage (means of the two growing seasons)
Quality trait
Storage
temperature
[°C] (A)
Treatment (B)
Control
1-MCP
Lycopene
[mg·100 g-1]
12.5
0.9
1.1
1.0 A
20
1.8
1.9
1.9 B
1.4 A
1.5 A
 
Ascorbic acid
[mg·100 g-1]
12.5
10.2
12.7
11.5 A
20
12.8
13.6
13.2 B
11.5 A
13.2 B
 
Titratable acidity
[%]
12.5
0.40
0.50
0.45 B
20
0.25
0.35
0.30 A
0.33 A
0.43 B
Acidity
[pH]
12.5
4.4
4.3
4.4 A
20
4.6
4.5
4.6 B
4.5 A
4.4 A
 
Sugars
[% f.w.]
12.5
2.9
2.7
2.8 A
20
2.7
2.9
2.8 A
2.8 A
2.8 A
 
Phenolics
[mg·100 g-1]
12.5
22.2
22.9
22.6 A
20
33.0
35.5
34.3 B
27.6 A
29.2 B
Note to Tab. 4: Means in columns and rows for each season marked with different capital letters differ significantly, according Tukey’s HSD test at P=0.05.

CONCLUSIONS

Results of the study showed big differentiation in chemical composition of the LSL tomato fruit depending on 1-MCP treatment and storage temperature, but also differences between growing seasons. The relationship between experimental factors studied was not clear and differed between the years. Therefore, it can be concluded in general that the effect of 1-MCP treatment strongly depends on initial physiological state of tomato fruit, which is modified by environmental conditions during growing season. After the storage, a tendency to higher content of phenolics for the fruit treated with 1-MCP was observed. Tomatoes treated with 1-MCP were not significantly affected in terms of lycopene and sugars contents compared to the untreated ones, but a tendency to higher content ascorbic acid in the 1-MCP treated fruits was observed. It was also found a tendency to higher titratable acidity for 1-MCP treated fruit. Results obtained in the study indicate that 1-MCP treatment influenced bioactive compounds changes in stored LSL tomato fruit compared to the untreated fruit, but the relationship between the treatment and the fruit quality parameters was not fully clear.

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Accepted for print: 23.11.2017


Anna Wrzodak
Institute of Horticulture, Poland
Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3
96-100 Skierniewice
Poland

Justyna Szwejda-Grzybowska
Institute of Horticulture, Poland
Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3
96-100 Skierniewice
Poland

Marek Gajewski
Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Vegetable and Medicinal Plants, Poland
Nowoursynowska 166
02-787 Warszawa
Poland
email: marek_gajewski@sggw.pl

Responses to this article, comments are invited and should be submitted within three months of the publication of the article. If accepted for publication, they will be published in the chapter headed 'Discussions' and hyperlinked to the article.