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CFD-Based Analysis of 1-MCP Distribution in Commercial Cool Store Rooms: Porous Medium Model Application


1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is a synthetic plant growth regulator used commercially to delay ripening of fruits. 1-MCP (SmartFreshTM) is applied in gaseous form (as a fumigant) in the cool store room. This paper uses a porous medium computational fluid dynamics model to numerically analyze the distribution of 1-MCP in cool store rooms for apple fruit. The effects of air circulation, room shape, and bin material were investigated. Dose calculation based on filling density was explored. The 1-MCP distribution in commercial cool stores, under room cooling condition, was uniform irrespective of room shape. Rooms filled with fruit in wooden bins deplete 25 % more of the active substance than rooms filled with fruit in plastic bins. The calculated dose increases linearly with the amount of fruit in the cool store (filling density). Hence, this study suggests that dose prescription based on filling density is feasible.

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The financial support of the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (project IWT 060720) is kindly appreciated. These projects received co-funding by the Belgian Association of Fruit and Vegetable Co-operatives (VBT). SmartFreshTM was kindly supplied for the experimental trials by AgroFresh Inc. Prof. Opara's contributions were supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation, and the South African Postharvest Innovation Programme (PHI).

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Correspondence to Bart M. Nicolai.

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Ambaw, A., Verboven, P., Delele, M.A. et al. CFD-Based Analysis of 1-MCP Distribution in Commercial Cool Store Rooms: Porous Medium Model Application. Food Bioprocess Technol 7, 1903–1916 (2014).

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  • Fruit storage
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Diffusion–adsorption
  • Porous medium
  • Simulation