Phosphine fumigation - time dependent changes in the volatile profile of table grapes
Industrial and agricultural goods are fumigated in transport containers in order to control pest infestations and to avoid the transmission of alien species. Phosphine is increasingly used prior to the export as fumigant for table table grapes, fruit cultures and dried fruits to control active table grapevine insect pests. Less knowledge exists for fumigants about the desorption time of toxic gases and factors that affect the composition of the fumigated good. Therefore, red and white table grapes (´Thompson seedless´, ´Scarlotta´ and ´Flame seedless´) were chosen to represent the allowed group of phosphine fumigated foods and were treated with a concentration of 2000 vpm phosphine (PH3) at different temperatures. In the present study, sorption and desorption behavior of PH3 by table grapes and possible changes in their VOC (volatile organic compounds) profiles were investigated. The PH3 concentration was monitored before and after the fumigation process and was determined under the maximum residue level 0.005 ppm after 35 days. The adsorbed amount of PH3 was not influenced by fumigation parameters. For analysis of the influences on the volatile profile after fumigation, a headspace solid-phase micro-extraction coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC/MS) was used. Small differences in volatile profiles of fumigated and subsequently outgassed table grapes compared to non-fumigated table grapes could be observed. A slight influence on the aldehyde group directly after fumigation could be perceived by a decrease of hex-2-en-1-ol and 1- hexanol in PH3-treated table grapes. The concentrations of both compounds increase again after completion of the desorption process. On the other hand terpenes are not significantly influenced by the fumigation process. Overall these changes are likely to affect table grape aroma characteristics directly after a treatment with PH3 and it could be demonstrated that phosphine alters the volatile profile of fumigated table grapes qualitatively and quantitatively.
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