Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2006
Publication Date: July 17, 2006
Citation: Wang, C.Y. 2006. The use of essential oils as natural preservatives for berry fruits. [abstract]. HortScience. 41:1042-1043. Technical Abstract: Berry fruits such as blackberries and blueberries are highly perishable after harvest. In addition to rapid deterioration in quality, they are also very susceptible to microbial invasion. The shelf life of these berries is usually terminated by decay. Several natural antimicrobial compounds derived from essential oils of plants were studied for their efficacies in inhibiting decay and extending shelf life of berry fruits. The severity of decay in blackberries and blueberries stored at 10 °C was significantly reduced by treatment with thymol. Treatments with menthol or eugenol also suppressed the fungal growth but to a lesser extent. All of these three natural antimicrobial compounds extended shelf life of blackberries and blueberries as compared to the control. Berries treated with thymol, menthol, or eugenol also maintained better fruit quality with higher levels of sugars, organic acids, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity than the untreated fruits. The effects of these natural antimicrobial agents on the quality and shelf life of other fruits will be investigated.