An Innovative Ethylene Scrubber Made of Potassium Permanganate Loaded on a Protonated Montmorillonite: a Case Study on Blueberries

  • Marianela Hazel Álvarez-Hernández
  • Ginés Benito Martínez-Hernández
  • Felipe Avalos-Belmontes
  • Ana Margarita Rodríguez-Hernández
  • Marco A. Castillo-Campohermoso
  • Francisco Artés-HernándezEmail author
Original Paper


The effects of a KMnO4-based innovative C2H4 scrubber (using a protonated montmorillonite (PMMT)), compared with a commercial Bi-On® R12 scrubber, were evaluated on the main quality attributes of “Duke” blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) fruit during storage at 2 and 10 °C up to 46 days. Samples were stored under modified atmosphere packaging (with or without scrubbers) or air conditions (vented clams). Despite using a PMMT sachet containing 6-fold lower scrubber quantity compared with the commercial one (based on the C2H4 uptake capacity of both materials), the in-package C2H4 concentrations of samples were low (< 10.1 nmol L−1), regardless of the used scrubber. A mild CO2 adsorption was observed in the commercial scrubber due to the intrinsic properties of its mineral support material (zeolite). The storage temperature played a key role in the preservation of the blueberry quality (mainly determined by the fungal incidence) during storage. In that sense, decay incidence, weight loss, firmness loss, titratable acidity, and maturity index changes of blueberries were better controlled by the modified atmosphere packaging at 2 °C compared with 10 °C. The developed innovative C2H4 scrubber, in conjunction with modified atmosphere packaging, may be then considered as a helpful tool for blueberry shelf-life extension—additional 25 days at 2 °C and 14 days at 10 °C—by reducing fungi-caused decay incidence, while preserving the rest of fruit quality parameters, with a high cost-effectiveness.


Bush berries Decay Weight loss Clay adsorption Protonated clay Quality 



Authors are greatly thankful to Prof. Dr. Jean Claude Pech for his valuable counselling. We would also like to thank Perla E. Padilla-Hernández for her valuable collaboration during the experiment. The kindly supply of blueberry fruit from Arándanos La Peña (Asturias, Spain) and commercial Bi-On® R12 sachets from Bioconservacion S.A (Barcelona, Spain) is also appreciated.


Marianela Hazel Álvarez-Hernández is supported by CONACYT (National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico) (mobility grant no. 291212).

Supplementary material

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Online Resource 1

Respiration (A) and ethylene production (B) rates of blueberry fruit at 2, 5, 7 and 10 °C (n = 5 ± SD) (PNG 169 kb)

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Online Resource 2

Gas partial pressures (O2/CO2; A, B; C2H4: C, D) inside blueberry packaging during storage at 2 °C (A, C) and 10 °C (B, D) up to 46 d (n = 5 ± SD) (PNG 528 kb)

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High Resolution Image (PNG 528 kb) (TIFF 3964 kb)
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Online Resource 3 Skin colour (ΔE*), pH and decay incidence of blueberry fruit stored under different packaging conditions during storage at 2 and 10 °C up to 46 d (n = 5 ± SD) (DOCX 22 kb) (DOCX 22 kb)
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Online Resource 4

Sensory quality of blueberry fruit stored under different packaging conditions at 2 and 10 °C on day 14 (PNG 517 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Research Department and Materials Research DepartmentUniversidad Autónoma de CoahuilaSaltilloMexico
  2. 2.Postharvest and Refrigeration Group, Department of Food EngineeringUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Agricultural Plastics DepartmentCentro de Investigación en Química Aplicada, CIQA-CONACYTSaltilloMexico

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