refrigerators, ethylene, and bulbs

Judy Glattstein
Sun, 19 Sep 2004 05:18:25 PDT
Here is the gist of the information I received. I'd probably hedge my bets
anyway, by not storing bulbs and apples in the same refrigerator drawer (and
why don't they make refrigerators with 4 produce compartments? I always end
up with a stray bag of carrots, bunch of celery, and such cluttering up the
shelves.) I've put pots of bulbs for forcing in the refrigerator to chill
(and you'd have more room for produce if you didn't, mutters my husband) and
haven't noticed a problem. The pots are generally in a flimsy plastic bag
(supermarket produce-holding kind) to corral stray earthworms and bits of
mud. I also use the bags as intensive care tents when rooting cuttings.
While they keep moisture levels higher under the plastic my understanding is
that atmospheric gases are able to pass through. So, is anyone interested in
a "proper" study: bulbs in drawer with apples, bulbs elsewhere in
refrigerator, potted bulbs with/ without apples, unrefrigerated bulbs, etc.
BTW - it is bananas that I put in a paper bag (at room temperature) with
other fruit I'm trying to hustle into ripeness as somewhere/ when I was told
bananas produce lots of ethylene. And bananas don't get refrigerated.

Comment by Henk Gude, Applied Plant Research (the former bulb research

Sachets containing absorbing material(like zeolite) are used for trapping
ethylene gas. The gas is oxidised by Potasium permanganate inside the
grains. The sachets are useful for trapping ethylene in storage rooms or
packages with fruit and vegetables (to prevent ripening). In tulip bulbs
the ethylene damage threshold is much lower than in fruit, so the sachets
are much less effective in tulips (they don't catch the last ethylene

With respect to the combined storage of refrigerated bulbs and fruit: I
don't expect that the ethylene trapping material will be necessary (or
useful) in this case, because at low temperatures (below 10 deg C) the fruit
will produce little ethylene and the sensitivity of the bulbs for ethylene
is also much lower than at room temperature. At temperatures above 10 C (of
course this is not a sharp transition) the ethylene problem is there and the
ethylene trapping material will be useful.

Verzonden: woensdag 18 september 2002 8:49
Aan: ''

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