Loss of ripening capacity of pawpaw fruit with extended cold storage

Federica Galli, Douglas D. Archbold, Kirk W. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The fruit ripening traits of pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] were examined after harvest and after cold storage at -2, 2, 4, and 6°C for up to 12 weeks. Generally, fruits stored at 2-4°C for 4 weeks ripened normally, but those stored at -2°C did not ripen normally, those stored at 6°C were overripe, and by 6-8 weeks those stored at 2-4°C had a lower respiration rate and ethylene production, lower firmness, and lower pH than fruit cold-stored for 4 weeks or less. These changes, and the occasional development of brown discoloration in the pulp once the fruits were moved back to room temperature, were evidence of chilling injury by 6 weeks. After harvest and through 4 weeks of cold storage, the main volatile compounds produced by fruit were methyl and ethyl octanoates and hexanoates. Volatile production significantly increased >5-fold in fruit ripened for 72 h after harvest or after removal from up to 4 weeks of cold storage. Fruit cold-stored for 6 weeks or more produced fewer total volatiles and esters but increased levels of such off-flavor compounds as ethyl acetate, ethyl propionate, and hexanoic and decanoic acids. Alcohol acyltransferase (AAT) activity declined in cold-stored fruit but was not correlated with either total volatile production or total ester production. Alcohol dehydrogenase activity did not change during ripening after harvest or cold storage. Lipoxygenase activity was highest just after harvest or after 2 weeks of cold storage, but was low by 4 weeks. Thus, ripening of pawpaw fruit seems to be limited to 4 weeks at 2-4°C with loss of ability to continue ripening and chilling injury symptoms evident at colder temperatures and after longer periods of cold storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10683-10688
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 26 2008


  • Alcohol acyltransferase
  • Alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Aroma volatile
  • Ethylene
  • Firmness
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Regular atmosphere storage
  • Respiration
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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