Ensuring air quality in museums, historical archives, art exhibitions and in areas with objects of great historical or other significance. Specialized applications in shipping, areas relating to airports, agricultural produce, foodstuffs, etc.

1. Introduction to the problem

Ethylene is produced in most plant tissues and is known to be an important factor for the initiation of the ripening of fruit. The familiar phenomenon of accelerating the maturation of unripe fruit from the presence of overripe fruit in the same enclosure (including refrigerators) can be caused by a tiny emission of ethylene. Thus, ethylene acts as a phytohormone (plant hormone), because it carries the chemical signal of "commence process of ripening." The ripening of the fruit, the opening of flowers and the dropping of leaves are activated and regulated. There are numerous substances acting as phytohormones, but ethylene is the only gaseous phytohormone.

However, the natural production of ethylene from the fruit can cause problems in storage facilities. Ethylene destroys the green color of the plants, so lettuce and other vegetables of a mature green colour available in the market but not at a fully mature stage will be destroyed if stored with fully ripened produce. The production of ethylene is increased when produce is bruised or attacked by fungi that cause decay.

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K. Karamanli & Iroon Polytechniou
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