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SmartFresh (SmartFresh Quality System) is a brand of 1-MCP and is a synthetic produce quality enhancer based on 1-methylcyclopropene (0.18%), also known as 1-MCP. It is marketed by AgroFresh Inc.



1-MCP’s mode of action is via a preferential attachment to the ethylene receptor, thereby blocking the effects of both endogenous and exogenous ethylene. It is applied in storage facilities and transit containers to slow down the ripening process and the production of the ethylene in fruit. Ethylene agent is not useful for ripe postharvests. The method of prolonging produce lifetime in this way was approved by the EU in 2005.


Health concerns

The method came under scrutiny by the press during late 2005, and it was revealed the method is occasionally used to inhibit ripening of fruit by even a year, causing consumers to purchase year-old fruit without being aware of it. [1]

It has however been claimed that this kind of storage has been standard industry practice for the past 40 years.

As of 2006, retailers are split on whether this quality enhancer should be used. In a True Food Network publication of Greenpeace,[2] Apple & Pear Australia business manager Tony Russell claimed that prolonged lifetime of produce is necessary to deliver edible fruit during the whole year, and that these fruits are still healthy. He was countered by Sydney Postharvest Laboratory director Dr Stephen Morris in that Vitamin C and antioxidant levels may still decline, a concern also shared by others in the industry.

Proponents claim that produce storage is a common and necessary practice to provide a varied and available food supply. They argue that people do not want to eat or buy produce in poor condition and will be inclined to consume more if they have a good eating experience. Smartfresh has been judged by many scientists and expert panels around the world to be safe. It has been approved and accepted for use in all the countries where registration has been requested. This includes the U.S., European Union, UK, Australia, New Zealand and China. Dr. Sylvia Blankenship, Professor of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Supply effects

A business concern has been raised by Karl Schmitz, General Manager of the Federation of Producer Organisations for Fruit & Vegetables in Germany, as these chemicals cause oversupply issues in some markets and needlessly reducing the profits of growers as the demand of fresh fruits is reduced. Figures are at the same time showing that consumers don't necessarily purchase more fruits if they'd become cheaper.


  1. ^ Europeans buying year-old apples
  2. ^

Blankenship, S.M., and J.M. Dole. 2003. 1-Methylcyclopropene: A review. Postharvest Biol. Tech. 28:1-25.

External links

  • 1-Methylcyclopropene (MCP) Fact Sheet at the EPA
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "SmartFresh". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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