A Washington State University research scientist is fine-tuning use of a ripening compound for pears to improve the quality of whole fresh pears and advance the development of sliced pears. Several years ago, Amit Dhingra, WSU genomics and biotechnology professor, identified a natural chemical compound that unblocks the natural molecule 1-methycyclopropene (1-MCP) sold as SmartFresh, which is used to block the ripening of apples and pears. “We can ripen predictably and consistently with our compound. But the next goal, in collaboration with the fruit companies, is evaluating how many days it takes to ripen fruit from different levels of SmartFresh and initial fruit firmness,” Dhingra said. – Capital Press

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