Publication Details

Best, D. J., Szczerbanik, M., Scott, K. & Paton, J. (2005). Effects of polyethylene bags, ethylene absorbent and 1-methylcyclopropene on the storage of Japanese pears. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 80 (2), 162-166.


Storage of the ‘Nijisseiki’ cultivar of Japanese pears was studied over three seasons for periods up to 36 weeks at 0°C. Storage in 50 pm thick low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags at 0°C considerably delayed yellowing in all experiments, even after fruit was removed to 20°C for 1 week at the end of storage. The addition of an ethylene absorbent made from potassium permanganate on aluminium oxide (Purafil II) further delayed yellowing. Carbon dioxide levels in both treatments varied, but were generally in the range 2-3%. Oxygen levels remained high, generally 16-19%. In bags without Purafil, ethylene levels rose slightly during storage and were generally about 0.15 pi I 1. When Purafil was included in the bags, the ethylene level was reduced 10-fold or more. A sensory test indicated that the use of LDPE bags and ethylene absorbent resulted in fruit with better eating quality than fruit stored in air. Disorders over the 3-year investigation were low even after long-term storage. The use of polyethylene bags reduced the severity of flesh browning, and flesh spot decay was virtually absent. Tire use of bags increased the severity of core browning. Inclusion of an ethylene absorbent in bags reduced the severity of disorders, particularly core browning. Treatment of the fruit with 1 -methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), before or during storage, resulted in higher ethylene levels in the polyethylene bags. At the concentrations used, 1-MCP did not improve the storage of ‘Nijisseiki’ compared to the use of polyethylene bags with Purafil II.