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R464 Ethylene for Processing

Publication Date: 
23 March 2018
Author/Contact :
Glyn Harper

Contractor :
Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (SBCSR)

Full Research Project Title: Develop best practice recommendations for the use of ethylene on processing cultivars.
Duration: October 2012 - September 2015

Industry Challenge

CIPC is currently the only storage sprout suppressant available for the processing industry but there are threats to usage.  A strategy to reduce the overall quantity of CIPC used to control sprouting could be a combination treatment with other sprout suppressants, for example ethylene.  Ethylene has been available and successfully used with some GB cultivars for sprout suppression by the pre-pack sector.  However, knowledge and recommendations for the use of ethylene with current commercially stored processing cultivars is very limited.  Ethylene causes deterioration in fry colour, an undesired effect which can be mitigated, at least partially, by pre-treatment with methylcyclopropene (1-MCP).





  • Store ethylene treatment: to understand how current and emerging processing cultivars respond to ethylene in terms of sprout control and fry colour. A further objective, to be undertaken in the light of review (objective e) is to understand the efficacy 1-MCP treatment of these cultivars in mitigating ethylene induced fry colour changes.
  • 1-methylcyclopropene as an ‘ethylene blocker: to determine the relationship between 1-MCP concentration and its effect in mitigating ethylene induced fry colour changes (dose response curve).
  • Ethylene/CIPC combination treatments: to develop a strategy for effective sprout control and maintenance of acceptable fry quality in selected varieties, based on combined CIPC and ethylene treatments.
  • Bulk storage ethylene treatment: to compare the storage of selected varieties under ethylene in bulk storage conditions.
  • To review recent research into the use of 1-MCP (See 1 MCP Review.pdf provided below)
  • Carbon dioxide/ethylene interaction: to establish the effect of CO2 atmosphere, in the presence or absence of  (trace) ethylene, on fry colour

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