Author(s): Renar J Bender, Jeffrey K Brecht, Steven A Sargent, Donald J Huber
ABSTRACT. ‘Haden’ and ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) were stored in air, 2, 3, 4 or 5 kPa O2 plus N2, or 25 kPa CO2 plus air for 14 days at 15 °C or 21 days at 12 °C, respectively, then in air for 5 days at 20 °C to determine their tolerance to reduced O2 levels for storage times encountered in typical marine shipments. All low O2 treatments reduced mature green mango respiration (CO2 production), however, elevated ethanol production occurred in 2 and 3 kPa O2 storage, with the levels two to three times higher in ‘Tommy Atkins’ than ‘Haden’. In contrast, ‘Haden’ fruit at the onset of the climacteric also accumulated ethanol in 4 kPa O2 and produced 10 to 20-fold more ethanol in 2 and 3 kPa O2 than preclimacteric fruit. While there were no visible injury symptoms, off flavor developed in mature green fruit at 2 kPa O2 and in ripening initiated fruit at 2 and 3 kPa O2. Ethanol production was not affected by storage in 25 kPa CO2. Ethylene production was reduced slightly by low O2, however, ‘Haden’ fruit also showed a residual inhibitory effect on ethylene production after 2 or 3 kPa O2 storage, while ‘Tommy Atkins’ fruit stored in 2 kPa O2 produced a burst of ethylene upon transfer to air at 20 °C. Fruit firmness, total sugars, and starch levels did not differ among the treatments, but 2, 3 or 4 kPa O2 and 25 kPa CO2 maintained significantly higher acidity than 5 kPa O2 or air. The epidermal ground color responded differently to low O2 and high CO2 in the two mango cultivars. Only 2 kPa O2 maintained ‘Haden’ color better than air, while all low O2 levels maintained ‘Tommy Atkins’ color equally well and better than air. High CO2 was more effective than low O2 in maintaining ‘Haden’ color, but had about the same effect as low O2 on ‘Tommy Atkins’. Results indicate that preclimacteric ‘Haden’ and ‘Tommy Atkins’ mango fruit are able to tolerate 3 kPa O2 for 2 or 3 weeks at 12 to 15 °C and that tolerance to low O2 decreases as mangoes ripen. Results also show that low O2 and high CO2 affect mango ripening differentially.