The goal of this study was to compare the effects of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), which is commonly used for the storage of nectarine fruit, and treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP: 0.5 or 1 mu L L-1 for 24h at 0 degrees C), an ethylene inhibitor, on the quality of nectarines cv. 'Maria Aurelia'. After harvest, nectarine fruits were subjected to 1-MCP or MAP treatments. Following the treatments, the fruits were then kept at 0 degrees C for 40 days and at 20 degrees C for an additional 2 days to simulate its shelf life. Fruit flesh firmness significantly decreased during storage and shelf life, for all treated fruits. Both 1-MCP doses and MAP maintained firmness better than control fruits. Chilling injury (CI) was first observed after 20 days at 0 degrees C+ 2 days at 20 degrees C and then further increased during cold storage and shelf life period for all treatments. Compared with control fruits, MCP treated or MAP-stored nectarines showed significantly reduced incidence of CI and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), polygalacturonase (PG) and pectin methyl esterase (PEM) activities as well as lower hue angles (h), total soluble solid (TSS) contents and respiration rates. These results showed that both methods maintained the post-harvest quality of nectarine fruit and provided longer storage and shelf life. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.