Effect of hexanal vapor to control postharvest decay and extend shelf-life of highbush blueberry fruit during controlled atmosphere storage


Song, J; Fan, L; Forney, C; Campbell-Palmer, L; Fillmore, S

Canadian Journal of Plant Science 90(3): 359-366

2010


Effect
of
hexanal
vapor
to
control
postharvest
decay
and
extend
shelf-life
of
highbush
blueberry
fruit
during
controlled
atmosphere
storage
Jun
Song,
Lihua
Fan,
Charles
Forney,
Leslie
Campbell-Palmer,
and
Sherry
Fillmore
Agriculture
and
Agri-Food
Canada,
Atlantic
Food
and
Horticulture
Research
Centre,
32
Main
Street,
Kentville,
Nova
Scotia,
Canada
B4N
1J5
(e-mail:
song]
c
agr.gc.ca
).
Contribution
no.
2363
of
the
Atlantic
Food
&
Horticulture
Research
Centre,
Agriculture
and
Agri-Food
Canada.
Received
16
September
2009,
accepted
13
January
2010.
Song,
J.,
Fan,
L.,
Forney,
C.,
Campbell-Palmer,
L.
and
Fillmore,
S.
2010.
Effect
of
hexanal
vapor
to
control
postharvest
decay
and
extend
shelf-life
of
highbush
lueberry
fruit
during
controlled
atmosphere
storage.
Can.
J.
Plant
Sci.
90:
359-366.
Postharvest
disease
control
has
become
more
challenging
due
to
the
limited
number
of
registered
fungicides,
fungicide
resistance,
consumers'
desire
for
reduced
fungicide
residues
and
demand
for
blemish-free,
high-quality
product.
The
interest
in
the
use
of
natural
alternatives
to
prevent
fungal
growth
has
markedly
increased.
Many
biologically
active
volatile
compounds,
including
hexanal,
a
natural
plant
volatile
with
antifungal
properties,
have
been
reported
to
reduce
postharvest
diseases.
In
this
study,
highbush
blueberry
fruit
(
Vaccinium
corymbosum
'Duke',
'Brigitta'
and
'Burlington')
were
treated
with
hexanal
vapor
at
900
1.tI,
L
-1
for
24
h
either
once
immediately
before
storage
or
repeated
after
1
and
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(10-12
kPa
0
2
and
12-15
kPa
CO
2
)
at
0.5°C
for
up
to
15
wk.
Fruit
removed
from
storage
after
3,
5,
7,
9,
12
and
15
wk
were
evaluated
following
1
or
7
d
at
10°C.
Decayed
fruit
were
significantly
reduced
by
50-70%
in
treated
fruit
compared
with
the
control.
A
17%
reduction
of
split
Duke
fruit
was
also
found
in
hexanal
treated
fruit
after
9
wk
CA
storage
followed
by
7
d
at
10°C.
Marketable
fruit
in
all
three
cultivars
was
20-40%
greater
in
hexanal
treatments
after
12
wk
of
storage
as
compared
with
controls.
Fruit
firmness
increased
during
storage
in
Burlington.
No
significant
changes
in
weight
loss
were
found.
These
results
indicate
that
postharvest
application
of
hexanal
vapor
can
reduce
fruit
decay,
maintain
fruit
quality
and
extend
storage
life.
It
has
potential
as
an
alternative
fungicide
to
reduce
postharvest
decay
in
highbush
blueberry
fruit.
Key
words:
Postharvest,
fungi,
decay
control,
quality
Song,
J.,
Fan,
L.,
Forney,
C.,
Campbell-Palmer,
L.
et
Fillmore,
S.
2010.
Maltrise
de
la
deterioration
post-messianique
et
prolongation
de
la
Jur&
de
conservation
du
bleuet
cultive
dans
les
entrepots
a
atmosphere
control&
grace
aux
vapeurs
d'hexanal.
Can.
J.
Plant
Sci.
90:
359-366.
Il
est
devenu
plus
difficile
de
lutter
contre
les
maladies
apres
la
recolte
en
raison
du
nombre
restreint
de
fongicides
homologues,
de
la
resistance
a
ces
pesticides,
de
la
diminution
des
residus
d'antiparasitaires
que
souhaitent
les
consommateurs
et
de
la
demande
de
fruits
de
qualite,
sans
fletrissures.
L'interet
pour
des
solutions
naturelles
aux
fongicides
chimiques
a
considerablement
augmente.
Des
chercheurs
ont
rapporte
l'existence
de nombreux
composes
volatils
biologiquement
actifs,
dont
l'hexanal,
une
substance
volatile
naturelle
des
plantes
aux
proprietes
antifongiques
qui
combat
les
maladies
post-messianiques.
Dans
le
cadre
de
cette
etude,
les
chercheurs
ont
trait&
des
bleuets
(cultivars
Duke,
Brigitta
et
Burlington
de
Vaccinium
corymbosum)
avec
des
vapeurs
d'hexanal
a
raison
de
90011L
par
litre,
pendant
24
heures
a
une
reprise,
immediatement
avant
l'entreposage,
ou
plusieurs
fois,
apres
une
et
deux
semaines
d'entreposage
sous
atmosphere
control&
(10
a
12
kPa
de
0
2
et12
a
15
kPa
de
CO
2
)
a
0,5°
C.
La
periode
d'entreposage
pouvait
aller
jusqu'd
15
semaines.
Au
bout
de
3,
5,
7,
9,
12
ou
15
semaines,
les
fruits
ont
8t8
retires
de
l'entrepot
puis
&values
apres
etre
restes
1
ou
7
jours
a
la
temperature
de
10
°C.
Les
fruits
traites
comptaient
de
50
a
70
%
moins
de
bleuets
pourris
que
les
temoins.
Les
bleuets
Duke
vaporis8s
a
l'hexanal
pr8sentaient
aussi
17
%
moins
de
fruits
fendus
apres
neufs
semaines
d'entreposage
sous
atmosphere
control&
et 7
jours
a
10
°C.
Apres
12
semaines
d'entreposage,
les
trois
cultivars
trait&
a
l'hexanal
comptaient
20
a
40
%
plus
de
fruits
commercialisables
que
les
temoins.
La
fermete
des
bleuets
Burlington
s'accroit
durant
l'entreposage.
Aucune
perte
de
poids
significative
n'a
et&
observee.
Ces
resultats
indiquent
que
la
vaporisation
avec
de
l'hexanal
apres
la
recolte
peut
r8duire
la
deterioration
des
fruits,
en
maintenir
la
qualite
et
en
prolonger
leur
dur8e
de
conservation.
Ce
compose
pourrait
remplacer
les
fongicides
en
ralentissant
la
deterioration
des
bleuets
cultives
apres
la
recolte.
Mots
cies:
Post-messianique,
fongique,
lutte
contre
la
deterioration,
qualite
Fruits
and
vegetables
are
perishable,
and
their
storage
life
and
quality
are
affected
by
both
physiological
and
environmental
factors,
such
as
temperature,
humid-
ity
and
controlled
atmosphere
(CA)
gas
composition.
Despite
the
use
of
sophisticated
modern
postharvest
storage
facilities
and
techniques,
postharvest
loss
due
to
fungal
decay
continues
to
be
a
significant
problem
resulting
in
substantial
quality
loss
of
many
stored
fruits
and
vegetables.
Postharvest
disease
control
is
challen-
ging
due
to
the
limited
number
of
registered
fungicides,
359
360
CANADIAN
JOURNAL
OF
PLANT
SCIENCE
fungicide
resistance,
consumer
objections
to
fungicide
residues
and
demand
for
blemish-free,
high-quality
product.
Alternatives
to
chemical
fungicides
have
been
sought
to
reduce
losses
resulting
from
postharvest
decay.
The
popularity
of
blueberry
fruit
(Vaccinium
spp.)
is
increasing
in
North
America,
and
its
production
has
rapidly
expanded
throughout
the
world,
due
to
its
nutritional
value
and
market
potentials.
Blueberry
fruit
are
highly
perishable
and
are
considered
to
be
non-
climacteric
fruit,
due
to
the
lack
of
an
associated
burst
of
respiration
and
ethylene
production
associated
with
ripening
(Sargent
et
al.
2006).
The
storage
life
of
fruit
is
mainly
limited
by
fruit
decay,
weight
loss
and
flavor
loss
during
postharvest
storage
(Day
et
al.
1990;
Nunes
et
al.
2004).
The
market
life
of
blueberry
fruit
during
storage
varies
depending
on
cultivar,
pre-harvest
environment
and
postharvest
conditions
(Hancock
et
al.
2008).
In
general,
storage
life
of
blueberry
is
about
2-3
wk
at
0°C
for
cold
storage
and
4-7
wk
under
CA
conditions
with
10-12
kPa
0
2
and
15
kPa
CO
2
(Forney
et
al.
1998;
Harb
and
Streif
2004, 2006;
Hancock
et
al.
2008).
Unlike
pome
fruit,
the
benefit
of
CA
is
due
to
its
high
CO
2
concentration
(12-15
kPa),
which
retards
fungal
decay,
rather
than
to
low
oxygen
to
minimizing
physiological
activities
(Forney
2009).
Among
the
CA
recommenda-
tions,
0
2
(10-15
kPa)
has
been
widely
accepted
for
both
highbush
and
rabbiteye
blueberries
(Harb
and
Streif
2004,
2006;
Schotsmans
et
al.
2007;
Hancock
et
al.
2008).
In
order
to
maintain
fruit
quality
during
post-
harvest
handling,
any
additional
strategies
aimed
at
inhibiting
decay
should
be
considered
a
high
priority.
Alternatives
to
chemical
control
of
postharvest
decay
on
highbush
blueberry
such
as
modified
atmosphere
packaging
(MAP)
(Beaudry
et
al.
1998;
Rosenfeld
and
Meberg
1999),
UV
radiation
(Perkins-Veazie
et
al.
2008),
heat
(Fan
et
al.
2008),
ozone
(Song
et
al.
2003)
as
well
as
electron
beam
irradiation
(Moreno
et
al.
2008)
have
shown
potential,
but
all
have
limitations
to
their
effectiveness.
As
an
alternative
to
fungicide
treatment,
many
biolo-
gically
active
plant
volatiles
such
as
acetaldehyde
(Stadelbacher
and
Prasad
1974;
Avissar
and
Pesis
1991),
acetic
acid
(Sholberg
et
al.
2000),
(E)-2-hexenal
(Fallik
et
al.
1998;
Archbold
et
al.
1999),
hexanal
(Song
et
al.
1996,
2007;
Gardini
et
al.
1997),
and
methyl
jasmonate
(Wang
and
Buta
2003)
have
shown
potential
to
inhibit
the
growth
of
postharvest
microbials
and
reduce
postharvest
diseases.
Among
them,
hexanal
vapor
was
reported
to
inhibit
fungal
growth
and
enhance
aroma
biosynthesis
in
apple
slices
and
whole
apple
fruit
(Song
et
al.
1996,
Lanciotti
et
al.
1999,
Fan
et
al.
2006).
Effectiveness
of
hexanal
vapor
to
inhibit
spore
germination
of
Penicillium
expansum
(Link)
was
also
demonstrated
by
Fan
et
al.
(2006).
The
effect
of
hexanal
on
spore
germination
of
Botrytis
cinerea,
Monilinia
fructicola
and
P.
expansum
as
well
as
mycelial
growth
of
Sclerotinia
sclerotiorum,
Alternaria
alternata
and
Colletotrichum
gloeospo-
rioides
was
further
investigated
(Song
et
al.
2007).
The
effectiveness
of
hexanal
is
dependent
on
hexanal
concen-
tration,
treatment
duration
and
the
sensitivity
of
fungal
pathogens
to
hexanal
vapor.
Hexanal,
a
natural
plant
volatile,
has
been
widely
used
as
a
food
flavoring
agent
and
is
generally
recognized
as
safe
(Newberne
et
al.
2000).
Since
the
storage
life
of
highbush
blueberry
may
be
limited
by
fungal
decay
caused
by
B.
cinerea,
Colleto-
trichum
spp.
or
other
pathogens
(Caruso
and
Ramsdell
1995),
hexanal
fumigation
to
control
blueberry
decay
could
maintain
fruit
quality
and
reduce
fruit
decay,
which
would
improve
fruit
storage
life.
To
date,
there
has
been
no
use
of
hexanal
vapor
to
control
postharvest
decay
in
highbush
blueberry
fruit.
The
objectives
of
this
study
were
to
investigate
the
potential
of
hexanal
vapour
treatment
to
control
post-
harvest
decay
and
enhance
quality
of
blueberry
fruit
by
quantifying
the
effect
of
hexanal
treatments
on
product
quality
including
decay,
fruit
splitting,
marketable
fruit,
weight
loss
and
firmness
over
15
wk
of
CA
storage.
MATERIALS
AND
METHODS
Blueberry
Fruit
Highbush
blueberry
fruit
(Vaccinium
corymbosum
`Duke',
'Brigitta'
and
'Burlington')
were
obtained
from
Nova
Agri
Inc.,
Centreville,
NS,
in
2005.
Fruit
were
harvested
at
commercial
ripeness,
pre-cooled
and
packed
in
clamshells
at
Nova
Agri
Inc.
and
then
delivered
to
the
Atlantic
Food
and
Horticulture
Research
Centre
within
24
h.
Upon
arrival
the
clamshells
(ca.
450
g
of
fruit)
were
labeled
and
weighed.
Two
separate
harvests
were
conducted
to
serve
as
experimental
replicates.
Hexanal
Vapor
Treatment
The
hexanal
treatments
were
carried
out
in
air-tight
134-
L
stainless
steel
chambers.
The
treatment
chamber
was
fitted
with
a
small
heating
plate
that
was
capable
of
reaching
130°C
within
a
few
minutes.
A
known
volume
of
liquid
hexanal
was
placed
on
the
heating
plate
and
vaporized
to
produce
the
target
hexanal
concentration
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
in
the
treatment
chamber
(Song
et
al.
2007).
In
each
chamber,
approximately
27
kg
of
fruit
were
treated
with
hexanal
vapour.
Treatments
consisted
of:
(1)
non-treated
fruit
(control);
(2)
single
dose
900
I.LL
L
hexanal
(Single),
(3)
initial
dose
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
hexanal
followed
by
another
900
I.LL
L
-1
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
(Double),
(4)
initial
dose
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
hexanal
followed
by
a
second
900
I.LL
L
—1
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
and
a
third
900
I.LL
L
—1
dose
after
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(Triple).
Fruit
were
held
in
chamber
for
24
h
at
0.5
°
C
for
each
dose.
The
hexanal
concentration
in
the
chamber
was
measured
and
con-
firmed
by
gas
chromatograph
during
the
treatment
period
using
a
gas
chromatography
(GC)
as
described
by
Song
et
al.
(2007).
Hexanal
concentrations
were
measured
by
taking
1.0
mL
gas
samples
using
a
gas
tight
syringe
(Hamilton
no.
1810)
and
stainless-steel
needle
with
a
Mininert
gas-tight
sampling
valve
(Alltech
SONG
ET
AL.
HEXANAL
TO
CONTROL
DECAY
OF
BLUEBERRY
361
Assoc.,
Deerfield,
IL).
The
needle
was
inserted
through
a
rubber
septum
in
the
wall
of
the
chamber
to
obtain
the
gas
sample.
The
sample
was
analyzed
by
GC-FID.
A
hexanal
concentration
standard
was
generated
by
evaporating
10
I.LL
of
liquid
hexanal
into
a
4.4-L
glass
jar
fitted
with
a
sampling
valve.
Quantification
was
done
by
comparison
of
the
GC
response
to
the
sample
to
that
of
the
standard.
A
stainless
steel
chamber
without
hexanal
served
as
a
control.
After
the
24
h
fumigation,
the
chamber
was
opened
and
the
fruit
was
transferred
to
a
similar
stainless
steel
chamber
for
storage.
All
4
treatments
were
stored
under
CA
(10-12
kPa
CO
2
+12-15
kPa
0
2
)
(Forney
2009)
at
0.5°C
using
a
CA
control
system
(Oxystat
2002,
David
Bishop
Instrument,
Heathfield,
E.
Sussex,
UK)
to
monitor
and
maintain
CA
conditions.
Fruit
Quality
Evaluation
Fruit
samples
were
assessed
for
quality
after
3,
5,
7,
9,
12
and
15
wk
of
storage.
At
each
removal
two
pint
clamshells
of
fruit
(ca.350-400
g)
were
removed
and
one
assessed
after
1
d
and
the
other
after
7
d
of
being
held
at
10°C
in
air.
CA
conditions
were
re-established
within
1
h
after
fruit
removals
by
flushing
chamber
with
N2
and
CO
2
.
Fruit
were
evaluated
for
weigh
loss,
and
then
sorted
into
four
categories:
(1)
marketable
unblemished
fruit;
(2)
shriveled
any
fruit
with
visible
outer
skin
wrinkling;
(3)
split
any
fruit
with
a
visible
fracture
in
its
outer
skin,
and
(4)
decay
any
fruit
with
visible
mould
growth.
Fruit
numbers
in
each
catagory
were
calculated
as
a
percentage
of
the
total
number
of
berries.
Fruit
firmness
was
measured
on
a
Firm-
Tech
2
Firmness
Tester
(BioWorks
Inc.,
Wamego,
KS).
Samples
of
25
marketable
fruit
were
loaded
onto
the
turntable
of
the
tester
and
the
average
firmness
was
determined
as
Newtons
per
millimeter
of
deformation.
Statistical
Analysis
The
study
was
conducted
using
a
split-split
plot
design.
The
control
and
three
hexanal
treatments
were
comple-
tely
randomized
in
the
main
plot.
The
subplots
were
the
three
cultivars,
and
the
sub-subplots
were
the
removal
weeks
and
sample
days.
The
experiment
was
replicated
across
the
two
harvests
during
the
season.
All
values
except
for
firmness
were
subjected
to
square
root
transformation
prior
to
statistical
analysis
to
normalize
distribution.
Data
were
analyzed
using
the
analysis
of
variance
(ANOVA)
directive
and
standard
error
(SEM)
option
of
Genstat
(2008).
Linear
and
quadratic
differ-
ences
across
removal
weeks
were
evaluated
using
a
polynomial
contrast.
RESULTS
Headspace
Hexanal
Concentration
in
Fumigation
Chambers
Hexanal
was
fully
vaporized
using
a
heat
plate
to
reach
the
targeted
concentration,
which
was
confirmed
by
headspace
analysis
at
0.5
h
after
fumigation.
After
6
h,
however,
217,
230
and
309
I.LL
L
—1
hexanal
concentra-
tions
were
found
in
chambers
containing
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit,
respectively.
After
24
h,
only
150
µL
L
—1
was
found
in
the
Burlington
chamber,
while
trace
amount
of
hexanal
was
found
in
chambers
containing
the
other
two
cultivars.
Effect
of
Hexanal
Vapor
on
Decay
and
Splitting
The
effect
of
hexanal
vapor
on
decay
and
split
fruit
of
three
blueberry
cultivars
was
investigated.
Less
decay
was
found
in
all
fruit
treated
with
hexanal
than
in
the
control
following
CA
storage.
In
general,
a
3-5%
reduction
was
seen
immediately
after
9
wk
of
storage.
After
12
wk,
fruit
treated
with
the
triple
treatments
of
hexanal
had
6.5,
5.2
and
4.3%
less
decay
than
controls
in
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington,
respectively,
when
evaluated
1
d
after
removal
(Fig.
1A,
1C
and
1E),
and
4,
16
and
7%
less
after
7
d
at
10°C
(Fig.
1B,
1D
and
1F).
After
15
wk
of
CA
storage,
the
double
and
triple
treatments
of
hexanal
provided
the
best
reduction
in
decay
and
it
was
evident
in
all
cultivars.
The
triple
hexanal
treatments
resulted
in
74,
11
and
34%
less
decay
than
controls
in
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington,
respec-
tively,
when
evaluated
1
d
after
removal
(Fig.
1A,
1C
and
1E),
and
26,
66
and
32%
less
after
7
d
at
10°C
(Fig.
1B,
1D
and
1F).
Percent
of
split
fruit
was
also
reduced
by
hexanal
treatment
compared
with
control
fruit
after
9-12
wk
of
storage.
At
12
wk,
17,
5
and
4%
less
split
fruit
were
seen
1
d
after
removal
from
storage
in
Duke,
Brigitta,
and
Burlington,
respectively
(Fig.
2A-F).
After
7
d
at
10°C,
4%
and
11%
less
splitting
occurred
in
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit,
respectively
(Fig.
2D
and
2F);
however,
in
Duke
there
was
a
7%
increase
in
splitting
compared
with
controls.
After
15
wk
of
storage,
no
split
fruit
were
found
due
to
the
high
decay
rate
in
Duke
and
Brigitta
fruit.
Hexanal
treatment
reduced
decay
and
prolonged
the
storage
life
of
blueberry
fruit.
Effect
of
Hexanal
Vapor
on
Marketable
Blueberry
Fruit
Depending
on
the
cultivar
and
time
of
evaluation,
overall
percent
marketable
fruit
was
15
to
55%
higher
in
hexanal-treated
fruit
than
in
the
control
after
9
or
12
wk
of
storage.
After
9
wk
of
CA
storage
and
7
d
at
10°C,
the
triple-dose
hexanal
treated
fruit
had
47,
17
and
15%
more
marketable
fruit
in
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington,
respectively,
than
controls
(Fig.
3A,
3C
and
3E),
which
translated
into
87,
79
and
83%
total
marketable
fruit.
On
day
1,
after
12
wk
of
storage,
fruit
treated
with
triple
doses
of
hexanal
had
23,
18
and
7%
more
marketable
fruit
in
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington,
respectively,
than
controls
(Fig.
3A,
3C
and
3E)
and
18,
32
and
19%
more
marketable
fruit
after
7
d
at
10°C
(Fig.
3B,
3D
and
3F).
After
15
wk
of
storage,
no
marketable
fruit
were
found
in
controls
of
both
Duke
and
Brigitta
as
well
as
the
single-dose
treated
Brigitta.
362
CANADIAN
JOURNAL
OF
PLANT
SCIENCE
-
A
Duke,
Day
1
-
7
/A
7
,
. /
--
0
z
i
„.
..-
-2P
-
C
Brigetta,
Day
1
Control
v
900
ppm
(S)
o
900
ppm
(D)
0
900
ppm
(T)
_
2XSEM
I
-'-'.
--
.---:--
E
Burlington,
Day
1
,
----"
--5
.
0
.--="-
--
1
--
---
-
B
Duke,
Day
7
-
/
/ ,
/i
ce
„-2
....--
--
.---"-
D
_
Brigetta,
Day
7
.,-
-----
2
--
/
/v
F
-----•
Burlington,
Day
7
2
7
_--
,-o
--
--
_-0
--
-
--,--
K--
-
12
15
3
6
9
12
15
3
12
15
Storage,
weeks
Fig.
1.
Percent
of
decayed
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit
following
CA
storage
(10-12
kPa
0
2
+12-15
kPa
CO
2
)
at
0.5°C
after
fumigation
with
hexanal.
Treatments
consisted
of:
(1)
non-treated
fruit
(control);
(2)
single
dose
900
1.t.L
L
-1
hexanal
(S),
(3)
initial
dose
of
90011L
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
another
90011L
L
-1
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
(Double),
(4)
initial
dose
of
90011L
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
a
second
and
third
90011L
L
-1
dose
after
1
and
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(Triple)
for
24
h
at
0.5
°
C.
Evaluations
were
conducted
at
(A)
1
d
and
(B)
7
d
after
removal
from
storage
and
holding
at
10°C.
The
vertical
bar
represents
2
x
the
standard
error
for
comparison
of
means.
Note
that
the
y
axis
reflects
the
square
root
transformation.
100
93
75
50
25
7
e
0
100
93
75
50
25
7
0
Effect
of
Hexane!
Treatment
on
Blueberry
Fruit
Firmness
Fruit
firmness
is
another
important
fruit
quality
criter-
ion.
In
Duke,
firmness
of
control
and
single-dose
hexanal
treated
fruit
decreased
from
2.1
to
1.2
N
mm
-1
during
15
wk
of
storage.
The
double-
or
triple-dose
hexanal
treatment
reduced
loss
of
firmness
and
maintained
it
at
1.5-1.6
g
mm
-1
after
15
wk
of
storage
(Fig.
4A
and
4B).
No
significant
difference
of
firmness
was
found
in
Brigitta.
Interestingly,
average
firmness
in
Burlington
increased
significantly
from
1.6-1.7
to
2.4
N
mm
—1
.
There
was
no
significant
difference
in
firmness
among
treatments
in
Burlington
at
day
1.
However,
firmness
of
fruit
treated
with
hexanal
was
greater
after
9,
12
and
15
wk
of
CA
storage
when
fruit
were
evaluated
after
7
d
at
10°C
(Fig.
4E
and
4F).
DISCUSSION
It
is
well
known
that
many
infections
of
blueberry
fruit
occur
during
the
growing
season
prior
to
harvest
with
symptoms
not
developing
until
during
storage.
Therefore,
the
ability
to
control
latent
infections
in
the
postharvest
environment
is
crucial
(Caruso
and
Ramsdell
1995).
In
blueberry,
little
is
known
about
infection,
pathogen
populations
and
dynamic
changes
in
disease
incidence
during
fruit
production.
However,
the
effects
of
pathogen
inoculum,
surface
wetness
and
the
stem
scar
were
found
to
influence
postharvest
fungal
infection
(Cline
1996;
Elenfeldt
et
al.
2006).
It
is
generally
believed
that
highbush
blueberry
fruit
are
typically
infected
during
the
green
stage
of
development.
Spores
that
germinate
on
infected
fruit,
form
appres-
soria
and
then
become
dormant
until
the
fruit
ripens
(Daykin
and
Milholland
1984).
In
this
study,
hexanal
vapor
treatment
prior
to
CA
storage
inhibited
fruit
decay
during
prolonged
storage
periods
with
decay
reductions
of
up
to
70%.
Marketable
fruit
was
15-
55%
greater
in
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
due
to
reduction
in
decay
and
splitting.
The
effect
of
hexanal
treatment
on
decay
seemed
to
be
most
obvious
after
9
wk
of
storage
and
varied
among
cultivars.
Overall,
less
decay
was
found
in
hexanal
treated
Burlington
fruit,
because
Burlington
is
a
late
harvest
cultivar
and
generally
has
less
decay.
This
study
also
demonstrated
that
hexanal
treatment
can
not
completely
control
fruit
decay
even
with
a
multi-treatment
approach.
It
can
be
postulated
that
some
fungal
spores
causing
decay
during
storage
may
be
inside
the
fruit,
beyond
the
reach
of
the
hexanal
treatment.
It
is
also
possible
that
secondary
contamination
of
spores
may
cause
further
decay
of
fruit,
which
cannot
be
distinguished
by
our
evaluation
SONG
ET
AL.
HEXANAL
TO
CONTROL
DECAY
OF
BLUEBERRY
363
-
A
Duke,
Day
1
V/
------
-
}s-
-
-
-
C
Brigetta,
Day
1
-
2xsErvii
.,
,-
Control
v
900
ppm
(S)
o
900
ppm
(D)
0
900
ppm
(T)
-
E
Burlington,
Day
1
V
o
J6l
*
-
-
B
Duke,
Day
7
a
--
o
-
D
Brigetta,
Day
7
.-
V"
-,--"-
,-
-
,-
45
-
v
-
F
Burlington,
Day
7
-
o
_
--
---4.,_,
-'
-..:-_
-
-
f
--'"-
-5-
--
--
_•
-
_
_-_•_-
-
-
--
-...„
v
-- --...
\
15
1
6
9
15
15
Storage,
weeks
Fig.
2.
Percent
of
split
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit
following
CA
storage
(10-12
kPa
0
2
+12-15
kPa
CO
2
)
at
0.5°C
after
fumigation
with
hexanal.
Treatments
consisted
of:
(1)
non-treated
fruit
(control);
(2)
single
dose
900
µ1.,
L
-1
hexanal
(S),
(3)
initial
dose
of
900
µ1.,
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
another
900
µ1.,
L
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
(Double),
(4)
initial
dose
of
900
µ1.,
L
—1
hexanal
followed
by
a
second
and
third
900
µ1.,
L
-1
dose
after
1
and
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(Triple)
for
24
h
at
0.5
°
C.
Evaluations
were
conducted
at
(A)
1
d
and
(B)
7
d
after
removal
from
storage
and
holding
at
10°C.
The
vertical
bar
represents
2
x
the
standard
error
for
comparison
of
means.
Note
that
the
y
axis
reflects
the
square
root
transformation.
75
59
41
25
12
3
0
re
75
59
41
25
12
3
0
of
decay.
We
postulate
that
incidence
of
split
fruit
may
be
an
early
sign
of
decay
and
fruit
breakdown.
Reduced
decay
and
split
fruit
resulted
in
higher
amounts
of
marketable
fruit.
Despite
the
significant
control
of
decay
and
splitting,
and
improvement
of
marketable
fruit,
hexanal
treatment
did
not
completely
control
fruit
decay.
In
vitro,
a
treatment
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
for
12
to
24
h
was
effective
to
control
spore
germination
or
mycelial
growth
of
many
fungi
(Song
et
al.
2007).
They
suggested
that
the
maximum
treatment
effect
can
be
achieved
when
the
product
of
hexanal
exposure
time
(h)
and
concentration
(µL
L
—1
)
is
>10
800.
In
this
study
with
blueberry
fruit,
the
headspace
concentration
of
hexanal
vapor
was
monitored
during
fumigation.
It
was
found
that
the
hexanal
concentration
decreased
from
the
initial
con-
centration
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
to
150
µL
L
—1
or
less
during
the
24
h
fumigation
period.
Similar
result
of
an
84%
decrease
of
hexanal
vapour
concentration
after
a
24
h
fumigation
of
Jonagold
apples
at
15°C
were
reported
by
Sholberg
and
Randall
(2007).
The
explanation
for
the
decrease
of
hexanal
concentration
may
be
due
to
fruit
metabolism
of
hexanal
and/or
adsorption
of
the
hexanal
onto
chamber
walls,
packaging
materials
or
fruit
surfaces.
This
could
reduce
the
effectiveness
of
the
hexanal
treatment.
Utama
et
al.
(2002)
noted
that
adsorption
of
volatiles
onto
culture
media
used
as
a
supporting
surface
for
microorganisms
during
exposure
may
alter
the
head
space
concentration.
To
achieve
optimal
treatment
effects,
it
is
important
to
establish
an
effective
volatile
concentration
and
exposure
duration
combination.
Apparently,
maintaining
hexanal
concen-
tration
during
the
treatment
period
may
be
a
limiting
factor
for
maximizing
hexanal
effectiveness.
To
over-
come
this
problem,
weekly
treatments
with
hexanal
during
the
first
2
wk
of
storage
were
included
in
this
study,
which
resulted
in
more
effective
disease
control
and
a
significant
improvement
in
marketable
fruit
when
compared
with
the
control
and
the
single-dose
treat-
ment.
To
increase
efficacy,
new
treatment
regimes
need
to
be
developed
that
maintain
hexanal
concentration
around
fruit
and
packaging
materials
during
the
entire
treatment
period.
Recently,
the
relationship
between
natural
volatile
production
from
both
whole
and
extracted
fruit
and
decay
resistance
against
anthracnose
rot
in
10
blueberry
cultivars
was
investigated
(Polashock
et
al.
2007).
Despite
the
significant
difference
in
volatile
production,
no
relationship
was
found.
Since
only
relative
volatile
production
at
day
0
was
reported,
it
is
difficult
to
compare
these
results
with
other
publications
and
this
study
in
terms
of
the
effectiveness
of
aldehydes
to
reduce
364
CANADIAN
JOURNAL
OF
PLANT
SCIENCE
A
11
--
--
Duke,
Day
1
0
\
N
N
N
\\ ...
\\
\•
-
C
Brigetta,
Day
1
Control
--
v
900
ppm
(S)
ID
900
ppm
(D)
N ,
,,
2XSEM
Nt,
0
900
ppm
(T)
E
-
Burlington,
Day
1
\--•••
N'"G
B
Duke,
Day
7
-
0
--
,
-,-.
9.
,
\
N
\
\\`.
\
vi
\
\
\
\
\
\
I
D
-
Brigetta,
Day
7
N
`N•
N
\
N\,
`r
F
-
Burlington,
Day
7
-.
---.1
-
4
12
15
3
6
9
12
15
3
12
15
Storage,
weeks
Fig.
3.
Percent
of
marketable
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit
following
CA
storage
(10-12
kPa
0
2
+12-15
kPa
CO
2
)
at
0.5°C
after
fumigation
with
hexanal.
Treatments
consisted
of:
(1)
non-treated
fruit
(control);
(2)
single
dose
900
µI,
L
-1
hexanal
(S),
(3)
initial
dose
of
900
µI,
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
another
900
µI,
L
-1
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
(Double),
(4)
initial
dose
of
900
µI,
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
a
second
and
third
900
µI,
L
-1
dose
after
1
and
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(Triple)
for
24
h
at
0.5°C.
Evaluations
were
conducted
at
(A)
1
d
and
(B)
7
d
after
removal
from
storage
and
holding
at
10°C.
The
vertical
bar
represents
2
x
the
standard
error
for
comparison
of
means.
Note
that
the
y
axis
reflects
the
square
root
transformation.
Mar
ke
ta
ble
fru
it,
%
97
75
41
12
0
97
75
41
12
0
decay.
In
addition
to
volatile
quantization
in
both
fruit
and
extracts,
localization
of
volatile
production
such
as
at
the
inoculation
site
may
be
crucial
for
our
under-
standing
of
the
resistance
caused
by
natural
volatiles.
Unlike
the
microbial
study
using
Petri
plates,
the
metabolism
of
hexanal
by
blueberry
fruit
may
play
an
important
role,
not
only
in
altering
hexanal
headspace
concentration,
but
also
affecting
blueberry
fruit
flavor.
It
is
well
known
that
hexanal
can
be
metabolized
by
many
fruits
to
generate
"fruity"
flavor
compounds,
and
therefore
enhance
fruit
flavor
(Song
et
al.
1996).
The
presence
of
aldehyde
dehydrogenase
and
alcohol
acetyl-CoA
transferase
is
responsible
for
the
conversion
of
hexanal
to
hexanol
and
hexyl
acetate
(Song
et
al.
1996).
Despite
the
lack
of
information
about
the
above
mentioned
enzymes
in
blueberry
fruit,
small
amounts
of
hexyl
acetate,
hexyl
hexanoate
and
2-methylbutyl
hexanoate
were
identified
as
aroma
volatiles
in
the
headspace
of
Coville
blueberry
fruit
(Song
et
al.
2003).
Based
on
this
result,
it
can
be
postulated
that
blueberry
fruit
have
physiological
mechanisms
to
convert
hexanal
to
hexanol,
hexyl
acetate
and
other
corresponding
volatiles.
Currently,
research
in
volatile
biosynthesis
of
blueberry
with
hexanal
treatment
and
formal
sensory
evaluation
of
fruit
following
hexanal
treatment
are
being
conducted
in
our
laboratory
and
results
will
be
reported.
Firmness
is
an
important
quality
indicator
for
high-
bush
blueberry
fruit.
During
storage,
no
significant
change
in
firmness
was
found
in
Duke
and
Brigitta,
while
an
increase
of
firmness
was
found
in
Burlington.
This
confirms
previous
reports
of
firmness
increases
in
Burlington
fruit
during
storage
(Forney
et
al.
1998).
Significant
difference
in
fruit
firmness
was
found
between
treatment
and
control
in
Burlington
after
9,
12
and
15
wk
of
CA
storage
when
fruit
were
evaluated
7
d
after
removal
from
CA
storage.
The
reason
for
an
increase
of
firmness
in
Burlington
fruit
is
still
unknown,
although
thickening
of
cell
walls
has
been
observed
during
storage
of
Burlington
fruit
(Allan-
Wojtas
et
al.
2001).
Their
study
showed
that
fruit
cell
structure
and
water
potential
may
vary
among
cultivars
and
result
in
differences
in
storage
life
span.
Treatment
of
C
6
-aldehydes
such
as
(E)2-hexenal
and
(Z)-3-hexenal
on
Arabidopsis
leaves
indicated
that
C6
aldehydes
made
Arabidopsis
resistant
to
the
fungal
pathogen,
such
as
B.
cinerea.
Volatile
treatments
induced
lignifica-
tion,
accumulation
of
the
phytoalexin,
camalexin,
and
pathogen
resistance
gene
(PR-3)
(Kishimoto
et
al.
2006).
2.4
2.2
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
7
E
1.2
z
1.0
co
E
2.4
2.2
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
SONG
ET
AL.
HEXANAL
TO
CONTROL
DECAY
OF
BLUEBERRY
365
A
Duke,
Day
1
_ _
-
C
Brigetta,
Day
1
-
Control
-
2
X
SEM
I
v
900
ppm
(S)
o
900
ppm
(D)
-
0
900
ppm
(T)
F
1
.1'
-
.
Z.
-
_
.
-,-L
-
- -
-3
,
_._
,
-
-__.___.
...
_
-
lfz
-
-
-
---
--
-
1
-
E
Burlington,
Day
1
45
CV
...,"
,
,,
-1,
4
_
_
_
-
-
-
-
_____
-
,
-ii
-
B
-.
\
N
,
N
Duke,
Day
7
--
"c---:--
N
•----•
,.„.
--___
v
v
-
D
Brigetta,
Day
7
-
t
_<
----,
-
Si
--,
-
.
N
\
-
F
Burlington,
Day
7
,4
-
..„-%,
-
,--
--
.„---g
,
-•
--
,-„--
..-
.....
..----
12
15
6
9
12
15
3
12
15
Storage,
weeks
Fig.
4.
Firmness
of
Duke,
Brigitta
and
Burlington
fruit
following
CA
storage
(10-12
kPa
0
2
+12-15
kPa
CO
2
)
at
0.5°C
after
fumigation
with
hexanal.
Treatments
consisted
of:
(1)
non-treated
fruit
(control);
(2)
single
dose
900
µ1_,
L
-1
hexanal
(S),
(3)
initial
dose
of
900
µ1_,
L
t
hexanal
followed
by
another
900
µ1_,
L
-1
dose
after
1
wk
of
CA
storage
(Double),
(4)
initial
dose
of
900
µ1_,
L
-1
hexanal
followed
by
a
second
and
third
900
µ1_,
L
-1
dose
after
1
and
2
wk
of
CA
storage
(Triple)
for
24
h
at
0.5°C.
Evaluations
were
conducted
at
(A)
1
d
and
(B)
7
d
after
removal
from
storage
and
holding
at
10°C.
The
vertical
bar
represents
2
x
the
standard
error
for
comparison
of
means.
Apple
fruit
exposed
to
900
I.LL
L
—1
(40
gmol
L
—1
)
hexanal
vapor
for
48
h
showed
signs
of
phytotoxicity
expressed
as
surface
browning
(Fan
et
al.
2006).
How-
ever,
we
did
not
observe
any
sign
of
phytotoxicity
or
damage
to
blueberry
fruit
at
the
concentration
of
900
I.LL
L
—1
for
24
h.
The
tolerance
of
blueberry
fruit
to
higher
hexanal
vapour
requires
further
study.
The
results
of
this
study
indicate
that
fumigation
with
hexanal
vapor
has
potential
as
an
alternative
fungicide
to
control
postharvest
decay
in
blueberries.
The
volatility
of
hexanal
and
its
capability
to
easily
penetrate
stacked
commodities
allow
its
application
for
fumigation
of
products
in
cold
storage
rooms.
Hexanal
treatment
may
also
be
incorporated
into
postharvest
procedures
prior
to
storage,
because
rapid
cooling
following
harvest
has
been
recommended
for
most
fresh
products
(Kader
2002).
Using
natural
products
with
anti-fungal
properties
as
fumigants
is
a
very
attractive
alternative
to
synthetic
fungicide
applications.
If
the
growth
of
B.
cinerea
or
other
fungi
can
be
halted
or
reduced,
the
storage
life
of
blueberries
can
be
extended.
Data
collected
in
this
study
and
previous
studies
demonstrate
that
fumigation
with
hexanal
in
combination
with
CA
storage
reduces
decay
and
splitting,
improved
marketable
fruit,
and
extended
the
storage
life
of
fresh
highbush
blueberries.
Further
research
is
needed
to
investigate
biological
mechanisms
of
the
antimicrobial
effect
of
hexanal
and
to
assess
the
development
of
its
commercial
application
on
selected
fruits
and
vegetables.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We
thank
Drs.
Gordon
Braun
and
John
Delong
at
the
Atlantic
Food
&
Horticulture
Research
Centre,
Agri-
culture
and
Agri-Food
Canada,
for
their
critical
review
of
this
manuscript,
as
well
as
Nova
Agri.
Association
Ltd.
for
supplying
blueberry
fruit.
This
project
was
partially
supported
by
the
Technology
Development
Fund
of
Nova
Scotia,
Canada.
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2001.
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