Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry vol:51 issue:16 pages:4757-4763
L-Ascorbic acid (L-AA) concentration changes during the development of cv. Conference pears and the influence of postharvest handlings (gas condition, cooling rate, cooling duration) on L-AA breakdown were studied. L-AA concentration fluctuates in young fruits, remains stable during fruit maturation, and starts to decline 1 week before commercial harvest. The most rapid decrease in L-AA concentration was found during immediate controlled atmosphere. During short-term storage, only the gas condition was found to influence L-AA breakdown; no significant difference between gradually or immediately cooled pears was determined. Under air conditions, both cooling strategies did not differ from the L-AA breakdown in pears allowed to ripen on the tree up until 3 weeks after the optimal harvest date. During long-term storage, the cooling duration (1-3 weeks) had no effect whereas both O-2 and CO2 had a significant effect on L-AA retention. After 7 months of storage, no difference was found in dehydroascorbic acid concentration; the L-AA and total L-AA concentrations, in contrast, were significantly lower in the 5% CO2 conditions.