1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is a cyclopropene derivative used to inhibit the binding of ethylene receptors to ethylene. It’s similar in structure to the natural plant hormone ethylene and is used commercially to slow down fruit ripening and help maintain the freshness of cut flowers.
Most of the post-harvest preservation measures are focused on controlling the ethylene production of fruits. There are many inhibitors to control the production of ethylene, such as aminooxyacetic acid (AOA), salicylic acid (SA), 2,5-norbornanedioic acid (2,5-NBD), silver thiosulfate (STS), Aminooxyethylene glycine (AVG) and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), and so on.
Among them, 1-MCP has the advantages of non-toxicity, low concentration, high efficiency, and easy operation, and is widely used. (Get quotes or Specialist services )
The irreversible reaction occurs immediately after 1-MCP comes into contact with the ethylene receptor protein in plant cells, which hinders the binding of the receptor to ethylene, and effectively inhibits or delays the occurrence of physiological aging reactions in plants.
This greatly extends the storage and transportation period of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Not only can the storage and transportation period be greatly extended, but also can inhibit storage diseases, such as apple tiger skin disease, pear black skin disease, sugar return and other storage diseases.
1-MCP can effectively reduce the rot of fruits and vegetables, blooming flowers, and falling leaves. The birth of this technology is hailed as a revolution in the world’s fruit and vegetable preservation technology. The dosage of 1-MCP is very small, calculated in micrograms, and the method of use is also very simple. As long as the space is sealed for 6-12 hours and then ventilated, the effect of storage and preservation can be achieved.
Especially for breathing fruits, vegetables and flowers, fumigation treatment is carried out 1 to 14 days after picking, which can prolong the freshness period by at least 1 times. For example, the shelf life of apples and pears can be extended from 3 to 5 months of normal storage to 8-9 months.
1-MCP Commercialization Process
On July 17, 2002, the U.S. Government Environment Agency allowed it to be used in Apple’s commercial storage and transportation. The U.S. Government Environment Agency has exempted the 1-MCP application restrictions.
More than 27 countries and regions including the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, China, South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, and Turkey have approved the use.
At present, fruits and vegetables in Europe, the United States, Japan and other countries and regions have achieved systematic and standardized production, and a large number of products have entered food stores and supermarkets.
Due to physical damage, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables have significantly accelerated the aging process of the fruit and vegetable tissues, making the shelf-life less than 7 days. Since 1-MCP can effectively inhibit ethylene and is non-toxic and harmless, 1-MCP has begun to be applied to the fresh-cut market on a large scale, showing a good fresh-keeping effect.
Dora Agri & 1-MCP
The global fruit and vegetable and flower market is facing economic, humanistic and environmental issues. The demand for high-quality food standards is growing. This opens up market opportunities for post-harvest technology to help maintain the quality and freshness of fruits and cut flowers. This will bring more growth to the export of the fruit industry in emerging markets.
In 2001, AgroFresh began commercializing 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). The first registration of SmartFresh was approved in Chile in 2002, followed by the US registration and commercialization in the US Apple market. Since then, SmartFresh has been registered for commercial use in more than 40 countries/regions around the world and has been successfully used to maintain the quality of fruits such as apples and pears. It opened the door to the commercialization of 1-MCP.
Dora Agri has been focusing on post-harvest preservation technology since 2015, aiming to help fruit and flower growers reduce losses during transportation.
In 2017, we cooperated with orchid growers from the Netherlands. Our customers are orchid exporters. The loss of orchids during long-distance transportation has always been an inevitable problem. After using 1-MCP, the quality of orchids is greatly improved and the loss during transportation is reduced.
In addition to the application of cut flowers, Dora Agri began to cooperate with local apple exporters in Germany in 2018. After using 1-MCP, it can better guarantee the quality of apples in long-distance transportation. Apples that have used 1-MCP have better color and taste after being launched, and are widely loved by consumers.
Starting in 2019, Dora Agri began to work closely with the farm to test 1-MCP on different crops. We tested the fresh-keeping effect of 1-MCP on apples, blueberries, bananas, figs, kiwis, and lilies. All have been recognized by the farm growers.
1-MCP Field Trial Details
A large number of experiments and production applications have shown that 1-MCP treatment of fruits and vegetables can replace the effect of air conditioning. For most fruits and vegetables, the fresh-keeping effect of 1-MCP treatment is generally better than that of controlled atmosphere storage. 1-MCP is currently the most advanced preservative, which can extend the storage period and shelf life. After strict inspection by the US Environmental Protection Agency, no residues were found in fruits, vegetables and flowers treated with 1-MCP preservative.
Therefore, it is safe for people and the environment. Using 1-MCP to treat fruits, vegetables and flowers is not only effective, but also cost-effective, easy to operate, non-toxic to humans, and does not pollute the environment. Therefore, 1-MCP is recognized as the world’s most advanced preservative to extend the shelf life and shelf life.
1. 1-MCP on Apple
Dora Agri’s test results show that 1-MCP treatment immediately after harvesting can effectively delay the ripening and senescence of apples.
The 1-MCP treatment immediately after harvest can slow down the decrease of TSS and VC content, significantly inhibit the increase in the ethylene production rate, relative conductivity, and MDA content of the fruit, increase the activity of POD and reduce the activity of PPO, and delay the senescence process of the fruit.
2. 1-MCP on Figs
The test results show that treatments with different concentrations of 1-MCP can inhibit the respiration rate and ethylene release of figs during storage to varying degrees, delay the appearance of the two peaks, significantly delay the decline of fruit hardness, reduce ACC content, and inhibit Increase in ACS and ACO activity.
Therefore, it has a better preservation effect on fig fruits and maintains better storage quality.
3. 1-MCP on Banana
Dora Agri’s test shows that 1-MCP delays the decrease of banana hardness and respiratory intensity, and delays the emergence of fruit ethylene release peak and respiratory peak, to a certain extent, inhibits the production of banana total phenols, delays the ripening of bananas, and maintains the color of the pulp.
4. 1-MCP on Blueberry
The test results show 1-Methylcyclopropene treatment could maintain the edible quality, appearance quality, and nutritional value of blueberry fruit, and had a positive effect on the cold storage of blueberry, greatly prolonged the storage and preservation of blueberry, and reduced the loss of blueberry in long-distance transportation.
5. 1-MCP on Kiwifruits
The test results show 1-MCP treatment obviously inhibited the respiration rate and ethylene release rate of kiwi fruit, and at the same time inhibited the decrease of fruit hardness, titratable acid content, and VC content, and delayed the increase of soluble solid content.
6. 1-MCP on Lily
The test results show that 1-MCP treatment can effectively delay lily’s respiratory peak, reduce the respiratory rate, delay the imbalance of water metabolism and increase the relative permeability of the cell membrane.
1-MCP treatment is conducive to the absorption and maintenance of water in cut flowers, and can promote the increase of flower diameter; it is more effective in inhibiting the respiratory consumption of cut flowers, prolonging the life of the vase, and delaying the aging process.
To be continued. Dora Agri will continue to explore the application of 1-MCP in fruits & vegetables and cut flowers. We will update our experiments here from time to time.
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