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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Commodity Protection and Quality Research » Research » Research Project #438277

Research Project: New Approaches to Enhance Fresh Fruit Quality and Control Postharvest Diseases

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

Project Number: 2034-43000-041-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 18, 2020
End Date: May 17, 2025

Objective:
Objective 1: Develop new preharvest approaches to enhance fruit quality and reduce postharvest diseases. • Sub-objective 1A: Evaluate the effects of anti-transpiration agents on water loss and fruit quality of blueberries. • Sub-objective 1B: Evaluate the effects of preharvest applications of plant disease-resistance elicitors on fruit quality and control of postharvest diseases of blueberries. Objective 2: Develop new postharvest technologies to maintain fruit quality and control postharvest diseases. • Sub-objective 2A: Evaluate generally-recognized-as-safe products or food additives applied as a postharvest treatment via different application technologies for control of postharvest fruit rot diseases of blueberries. • Sub-objective 2B: Develop coatings with/without antifungal products for reducing water loss and postharvest fruit rot diseases of blueberries. • Sub-objective 2C: Evaluate generally-recognized-as-safe products or food additives applied as a postharvest treatment via different application technologies for control of postharvest fruit rot diseases of table grapes.

Approach:
The goal of this project is to develop new pre- and postharvest approaches to maintain postharvest quality and control postharvest fruit rots and thus extend storage and shelf life of fresh fruits. Field and laboratory experiments will be conducted to evaluate preharvest use of disease resistance inducers and anti-transpiration agents to increase blueberry fruit tolerance to postharvest diseases and enhance fruit quality. Fruit quality parameters, postharvest disease development, plant chemicals such as flavonoids and phenolic contents, and the activities of known defensive enzymes in the fruit will be analyzed to determine their relationships. Laboratory and cold storage experiments will be conducted to develop new postharvest approaches using generally-recognized-as-safe substances such as peroxyacetic acid and cold plasma-activated hydrogen peroxide and antimicrobial food additives such as natamycin applied via new postharvest application technologies to control postharvest fruit rots and retain fruit quality of blueberries and table grapes. Laboratory and cold storage experiments will also be conducted to develop coatings with/without antifungal products for reducing water loss and postharvest fruit rot diseases of blueberries.