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Open AccessArticle

Use of a Copper- and Zinc-Modified Natural Zeolite to Improve Ethylene Removal and Postharvest Quality of Tomato Fruit

1
Departamento de Agroindustrias, Facultad de Ingeniería Agrícola, Universidad de Concepción, Avenida Vicente Méndez 595, 3780000 Chillán, Chile
2
Laboratorio de Tecnologías Limpias, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Alonso de Ribera 2850, 4030000 Concepción, Chile
3
Center of Waste Management and Bioenergy, BIOREN, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad de la Frontera, Francisco Salazar 01145, 4780000 Temuco, Chile
4
ENSICAEN, UNICAEN, CNRS, Laboratoire Catalyse et Spectrochimie, Normandie Université, 14000 Caen, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2020, 10(6), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10060471
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 25 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 3 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zeolites)
Ethylene stimulates ripening and senescence by promoting chlorophyll loss, red pigment synthesis, and softening of tomatoes and diminishes their shelf-life. The aim of this work was to study the performance of a novel copper- and zinc-based ethylene scavenger supported by ion-exchange on a naturally occurring zeolite by analyzing its ethylene adsorption capacity and the influence of ethylene scavenging on quality attributes during the postharvest life of tomatoes. The influence of copper- and zinc-modified zeolites on ethylene and carbon dioxide concentrations and postharvest quality of tomatoes was compared with unmodified zeolite. Interactions among ethylene molecules and zeolite surface were studied by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy in operando mode. The percentage of ethylene removal after eight days of storage was 57% and 37% for the modified zeolite and pristine zeolite, respectively. The major ethylene increase appeared at 9.5 days for the modified zeolite treatment. Additionally, modified zeolite delayed carbon dioxide formation by six days. Zeolite modified with copper and zinc cations favors ethylene removal and delays tomato fruit ripening. However, the single use of unmodified zeolite should be reconsidered due to its ripening promoting effects in tomatoes at high moisture storage conditions, as water molecules block active sites for ethylene adsorption. View Full-Text
Keywords: adsorption; DRIFTS operando; ethylene scavenging; postharvest quality; tomato; zeolite adsorption; DRIFTS operando; ethylene scavenging; postharvest quality; tomato; zeolite
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Bruijn, J.; Gómez, A.; Loyola, C.; Melín, P.; Solar, V.; Abreu, N.; Azzolina-Jury, F.; Valdés, H. Use of a Copper- and Zinc-Modified Natural Zeolite to Improve Ethylene Removal and Postharvest Quality of Tomato Fruit. Crystals 2020, 10, 471.

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