Mexican scientists extend Maradol papaya shelf life - FreshFruitPortal.com

Mexican scientists extend Maradol papaya shelf life

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Mexican scientists extend Maradol papaya shelf life

Scientists at Mexico's Colima University have extended the longevity of Maradol papayas by up to 50%, website Cuatropoder.mx reported.

Currently the shelf life of this variety is one week at a room temperature of 25 to 30 degrees celsius.

But the univeristy's head of fruit research Dr Juan Alberto Osuna Castro, said using an inhibitor (1-methylcyclopropene) synthesis of ethylene in papaya delayed ripening.

Fruit treated with 1-methylcyclopropene stayed green for longer, did not soften nor were attacked by fungi.

Researchers measured the activity of enzymes involved in maturation, particularly those that diminish fruit strength (polygalacturonase, b-galactosidase and xylanase).

He concluded the challenge was to understand the molecular mechanisms by which a papaya softens.

"We measured and compared the activity of these enzymes in papayas.

"They were extracted and purified to understand the molecular mechanism by which these enzymes cause softening and reduced shelf life," he was quoted as saying.

Osuna Castro said this process could be applied to mangoes and other varieties of papaya.

He concluded the challenge was to understand the molecular mechanisms by which a papaya softens.

"When we have that knowledge we can develop technology to manipulate the bilogical phenomena that affects the papaya.

"This would allow us to understand the genes that encode enzymes and which are critical to its softening."

Photo: Oregonlive.com.

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