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Ask the Produce Docs (General)

For an experiment, I want to duplicate the ethylene that would be present in a home refrigerator crisper.

Category
  • Ethylene
Question

I am doing an experiment where I am trying to duplicate a refrigerator crisper with fruits and veggies and an ethylene absorber. I am trying to find a chart or related info that will tell me what concentration of ethylene I might find in a crisper that has several pieces of fruit/ veggies in it. I understand different items will produce at different rates and other variables can affect this. Ultimately, I have to buy a tank of ethylene and I’m worried that 10ppm will be too high. I’m studying efficacy of an ethylene absorber in a crisper and want to duplicate a natural concentration. I’m having a really hard time finding information on the subject and was hoping you might be able to help. It sounds like fruit will respond to 1ppm or lower, but I’d expect the concentration is likely higher after several days.

I enjoyed your website and found a lot of good info there. It’s got to be the best website out there! (C.S.)

Answer

As you indicated, the ethylene level in the home refrigerator will depend on the quantity of ethylene-producing fruits (apples, pears, peaches, etc.) that are kept in the crisper. Here is a link to a paper in which we report a range of 0.02 to 1.58 ppm ethylene in home refrigerators (33 samples): http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-285.pdf Good luck with your project.

-Adel Kader

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