Effect of Postharvest Application of 1-MCP on Basil Shoot Quality during Storage at Chilling Temperature

Adrian D. Berry, Steven A. Sargent, Donald J. Huber


Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most temperature-sensitive of the fresh herbs, developing chilling injury symptoms within a few days of exposure to less than 12 °C, a common occurrence during commercial handling. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of increasing the tolerance of cut, basil shoots (‘Nufar’) to storage temperatures at 5 or 10 °C by postharvest immersion in an aqueous form of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an ethylene-action inhibitor. Shoots were either left dry, dipped in deionized water or dipped in a 1-MCP solution of 500 μg·L–1 for 30 s. Dipped shoots were air-dried prior to packing in commercial, plastic clamshell containers and stored at 5 or 10 °C for 12 d. Shoots from all treatments retained good to excellent quality when stored up to 9 d at 5 or 10 °C. However, regardless of treatment, after 12 d at 5 °C basil shoots had significant necrosis due to chilling injury and were therefore unmarketable. Basil stored at 10 °C remained marketable during the 12-d storage period, but once transferred to 20 °C quality was significantly reduced. After 12 d at 5 or 10 °C there was no significant difference between treatments for the parameters tested. The following parameters were determined after 12 d at 5 and 10 °C, respectively: leaf hue angle was 121.7° and 119.8°; total chlorophyll content was 1.2 and 1.18 mg·g–1 fresh weight; moisture content was 89.32 and 89.58 %. These results showed that dipping basil shoots in a 1-MCP solution of 500 μg·L–1 did not reduce susceptibility to chilling injury during storage at 5 °C.


Ocimum basilicum, postharvest technology, chilling injury

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283