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Plant material and storage

Apples (cv. Jonagold), bananas (cv. Cavendish) and kiwifruit (cv. Harvard) were obtained at
commercial maturity directly from a local supplier (Frucht Express GmbH, Groß Kreutz,
Germany). Two experiments were conducted consecutively in this study.

In the first experiment, fruit samples were distributed into seven different combinations as
shown in Table 1. Each combination was stored in a closed chamber (190 L) for 10 days at
15 °C (storage temperature was based on average retail condition) in dark. Gas composition
(O2 and CO2 concentration) was not controlled but monitored by gas analyser (Checkmate
3, PBI Dansensor, Ringsted, Denmark) at regular intervals. Ethylene concentrations were
measured using ETD-300 (Sensor sense, Nijmegen, The Netherlands), a laser based
photoacoustic detector, along with a gas handling system. The system has a detection limit
of 0.0003 ppm with a time resolution of 5 s.

The second experiment was based on mixed storage of apples, bananas and kiwifruit in a
ratio of 1/3, 1/3, and 1/3, respectively (Total fruit mass 6 kg). In the first test chamber (190
L), six ethylene removal sachets based on potassium permanganate (Purafil, USA) were
placed, while another chamber without any ethylene removal sachets served as the control.
For the second test chamber, a stainless steel reactor (diameter = 12 cm, height = 11 cm)
which served an ethylene filtration device was placed inside the chamber.

2.2. Respiration rate and ethylene production rate measurement

Respiration rate (RR) as well as ethylene production rate of the fruits were determined
before and after the 10 d storage experiment. RR was measured using a non-invasive and
continuous monitoring closed system respirometer (developed in-house). The respirometer
consisting of 9 acrylic glass cuvettes (8.2 L), each fitted with non-dispersive infrared CO2
sensor (GMP222, Vaisala GmbH, Bonn, Germany). In order to measure ethylene production
rate, fruits were separately stored in small jars and ethylene concentration was measured at
regular interval using ETD-300 over a period of 8 h. Ethylene production rate was calculated
as the amount of ethylene produced per unit time per unit mass of the fruit (μL kg−1 h−1 ).

2.3. Mass loss

Four fruits of each kind per combination were marked and weighed before and after storage
using an electronic balance CPA10035 (Sartorius, Göttingen, Germany). The difference in
the weight between the initial and after storage measurement was calculated and averaged.

2.4. Light remittance for pigment analysis

A hand-held photodiode array spectrophotometer device (Pigment Analyzer 1101, CP,
Germany) was used for recording remission spectra in the fruits. Normalized difference
vegetation index (NDVI) is directly calculated. NDVI index is commonly used in remote
sensing for separation of green vegetation from soil background (Jones et al., 2007).
2.5. Texture profile of fresh produce

The tissue strength (softness) of fruit samples for apples and kiwifruit were measured as
maximum force (N) to penetrate the tissue of peeled fruit using a SMS-P/4 cylinder on the
texture analyser (TA-XT Plus, Stable Micro Systems, Surrey, UK). For bananas the stiffness
was measured using a spherical probe on the unpeeled fruit as the resistance to the
maximum force. Five randomly selected fruits from each storage chamber were analysed,
and results were presented as mean value.

2.6. Total soluble solid content and titratable acidity

For bananas, 5 g of bananas was smashed and diluted with 10 mL of distilled water and the
TSS of the resultant mixture was measured. Total titratable acidity (TTA) of the juice sample
was measured potentiometrically by titration with 0.1 mol L−1 NaOH to end-point of pH 8.2
using an automated T50 M Titrator with Rondo 20 sample changer (Mettler Toledo,
Switzerland). The TTA concentration was expressed as g L−1 of malic acid for apples and
citric acid for kiwifruit. The ratio of TSS and TTA of apple juice was calculated and expressed

2.7. Statistical analysis

Three different fruit types (green bananas and unripe kiwifruit and apples) were considered
as factors and various quality attributes and physiological responses were the measured
parameters. The statistical analysis was carried out using Statistica software (version 10.0,
StatSoft Inc., Tulsa, USA) and Microsoft Excel (Office 2010, Microsoft, Germany). All
analysis was conducted in triplicate and average was used.