CAMA is an important international research conference on controlled and modified atmosphere storage of fruit and vegetables. Last CAMA conference was organized in Warsaw, Poland. A delegation of VCBT and LWK presented a QCAP poster and reported the first results of their Conference pear storage experiments.
The idea of the QCAP project is to sense multiple Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) produced by stored fruit, to optimize the storage process and avoid losses. The project partners LWK and VCBT are involved in the first step: the identification of the volatile compounds produced and their concentration range during various degradation processes. For their research, they harvested pear fruit and stored it for nine months in several conditions. Then the storage atmosphere was sampled and the volatile organic compounds in the storage atmosphere were determined.
Statistical analysis revealed which VOCs were associated with which storage conditions. The results show for example that the volatiles acetaldehyde, acetone and propene are mainly correlated with storage conditions that suffered from storage disorders, while for instance ethylene and methanol were more associated to healthy pear fruit. This means that these volatiles can be used as indicators for fruit quality. When monitored in storage rooms, information about the VOC concentrations can therefore be used to optimize the storage conditions, to avoid losses and maintain better fruit quality.
The research will be published in the scientific journal Acta Horticulturae, as part of the proceedings of the CAMA conference. In a next step, the measurement procedures need to be further optimized, so the methods can be up-scaled to commercial rooms.