Chapter 8

Low-Oxygen Injury

Exposing plant matter to hypoxia at atmospheric pressure induces the expression of genes that increase the formation of enzymes and factors promoting fermentation. Low-[O2] injury results when this causes toxic concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde to accumulate in plant matter. Hypoxia induces expression of the same genes during a hypobaric exposure, but if adequate incoming air changes ensure the presence of at least 0.1% [O2] inside the storage chamber, toxic levels of ethanol and acetaldehyde do not accumulate and plant matter has a fresh odor when it is removed from hypobaric storage. Low-[O2] damage does not occur, and within 1 day after the plant matter is returned to atmospheric pressure it recovers its ...

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