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Antioxidant activity and vitamin C are not affected by degreening treatment of clementine mandarins

Sdiri, S., Navarro, P., Ben Abda, J., Monterde, A., Salvador, A.
Acta horticulturae 2012 no.934 pp. 893-899
Citrus, antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, calyx, clementines, color, cultivars, degreening, dehydroascorbic acid, ethylene, exports, growers, markets, nutritive value, pulp, senescence, shelf life
Degreening with ethylene is a common postharvest practice in citrus fruit. This treatment is commercially used worldwide to promote peel degreening in many citrus species, especially in early season fruit in which the pulp reaches maturity and becomes edible when the peel is still green, and also to achieve uniform external coloration in fruit for export markets. Although nowadays degreening treatment is an option for both conventional and organic growers, there are some consumers and growers who dislike the idea of fruit being exposed to ethylene. The effect of ethylene during degreening on external color and shelf-life of the fruit is well studied, however, its effect on bioactive compounds such as vitamin C and on antioxidant capacity is not-well documented. In this study, the effect of ethylene during degreening treatment on nutritional quality of 'Clemenpons' and 'Clemenules' clementine cultivars was investigated. Fruit were submitted to degreening treatment during 48, 72 and 120 h with or without application of ethylene. Following the treatment, fruit were stored at 20°C during 7 days simulating shelf-life. Degreening treatment without ethylene reduced calyx senescence. Nevertheless, ethylene application improves color index compared to the treatment without ethylene. The ethylene application did not affect ascorbic acid, total vitamin C, dehydroascorbic acid content and antioxidant capacity of fruit from both cultivars. Degreening treatment with or without ethylene did not affect quality parameters.