Extending the shelf life of edible flowers with controlled release of 1-methylcyclopropene and modified atmosphere packaging.

Journal of food science

PubMedID: 23163949

Kou L, Turner ER, Luo Y. Extending the shelf life of edible flowers with controlled release of 1-methylcyclopropene and modified atmosphere packaging. J Food Sci. 2012;77(5):S188-93.
Edible flowers have great sensory appeal, but their extremely short shelf life limits their commercial usage. Postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment is used to counter ethylene activity and delay senescence in fresh produce; however, its potential application in edible flowers has not been tested. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of 1-MCP treatment with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the shelf life of edible flowers. Freshly harvested carnations and snapdragons were packaged in trays with or without 0.5 µL/L of 1-MCP, sealed with a gas permeable film, and stored at 5 °C. Package atmospheres, tissue electrolyte leakage, and flower quality were evaluated on days 0, 7, and 14. Treatment with 1-MCP resulted in significantly slower changes in package headspace O(2), CO(2), and C(2)H(4) partial pressures, maintained higher overall quality of both flower species and reduced electrolyte leakage and abscission in snapdragon. All samples prepared with MAP had significantly reduced dehydration and higher overall quality compared to flowers packaged commercially in plastic clamshell containers. Treatments with controlled release of 1-MCP and MAP significantly extended storage life of edible carnation and snapdragon flowers.