Title: Enhancing Florida strawberry shelf life using peroxiacetic acid pre-harvest treatments and postharvest edible coatings Authors
Submitted to: International Fresh Cut Produce Association Annual Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Strawberry is an important fruit crop in Florida. Yearly losses can be attributed to pre- and postharvest decay caused by Botrytis cinerea, and postharvest decay due primarily to Rhizopus stolonifer. Postharvest applications of edible coatings and sanitizers were tested. Among them, a medium-density polygalacturonic oligomer induced a biological defense response and reduced decay. Besides postharvest applications, because strawberry fruit is fragile and stored best if minimally handled, preharvest sprays of the sanitizer peroxyacetic acid (100 µL•L-1) were tested. Most of the time, fruit sprayed 3 days prior to harvest had significantly less decay than fruit sprayed 1 day pre-harvest or not sprayed when stored at 18 C. Strawberries sprayed in the field with peroxyacetic acid and then coated postharvest with 1% chitosan coating, had reduced decay compared with fruit only treated pre-harvest with PAA for up to 12 days in storage. Finally, strawberry selections from the University of Florida breeding program were evaluated for flavor and shelf life. The current commercial cultivar 'Festival' had the best shelf life during the mid-season.