How Do Apples Last 6 Months in Storage?

writer Ekolojist
Thanks to the chemicals that delay the ripening of apples, it is possible to find apples on the shelves every month. In fact, the apple, which is an autumn fruit, can now be found everywhere at any time. Some countries buy out-of-season apples from abroad, while others grow their own. 70% of out-of-season fruits are imported to England. In the USA, this rate is 10%.

How Do Manufacturers Keep Apples Flowing to the Market Year-round?

Storage techniques that delay the ripening process of apples available. In fact, even after apples are picked from the tree, they are still alive and more or less continue to undergo chemical changes. Apples take in oxygen, produce energy and gradually mature. It depends on the ethylene hormone, which ensures the ripening of the apple. This hormone also causes a large number of gene changes in fruits.

Among those that react to ethylene hormone, fruits such as apple, mango, banana, pear, papaya increase their sensitivity to ethylene hormone as the ripening period approaches. These reactions, which enable the ripening of fruits, accelerate when the air temperature increases. For this reason, keeping the fruits in a cool place delays ripening. Closed and narrow spaces are required to limit the flow of oxygen in fruits. These techniques have been used for a long time in fruit storage.

The air composition of the warehouses began to be played with. As the amount of oxygen in the air decreases, the effect of ethylene decreases and the ripening process of the fruit slows down. While the oxygen rate in the air we breathe is 21%, this rate is between 0,5-3% in modernized warehouses.

In these warehouses where oxygen, heat and humidity are kept under control, tons of fruit can be stored. In the past years, one of these warehouses in England was in the news when two employees died. It is very dangerous for workers to enter the warehouse without special breathing apparatus. This environment, where apples remain alive, is also not suitable for humans.

Is it possible to take the fruits out of the warehouse and put them on the market at the time of sale?

While applying the oxygen reduction technique to prolong the life of the apple for months, a molecule called 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is added to the stores. This molecule, which was patented in 1997, is used in receptors that hold the hormone ethylene. No matter how much hormone there is in the area, the apples do not ripen any longer, so with low oxygen and 1-MCP, apples can stay like this for more than six months.

It is impossible to restart the ripening process of fruits. The apples in the warehouse are as they were picked from the tree. For this reason, they are naturally deprived of the taste and smell of the fruit ripening on the tree. However, people still prefer these underripe apples to overripe apples.

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Ekolojist - Environmental News Site

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