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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #115468


item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item Collins, Julie

Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2001
Publication Date: 6/28/2002
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Blackberry fruit are a high value crop. Two new varieties of blackberries, 'Navaho' and 'Arapaho', have greatly improved the fresh market storage life (7 days instead of 3). In this study, 'Navaho' and 'Arapaho' blackberries were held under controlled atmosphere conditions (15% CO2 and 10% O2) for 3, 7, or 14 days to determine whether shelf life could be further improved with this special type of storage. At least 7 days of treatment was necessary to decrease the number of decayed berries. Acidity and sweetness of berries was similar to that of fresh fruit after CA storage. The amount of pigment, measured as anthocyanin content, was not affected by CA storage for 'Arapaho' but was reduced for 'Navaho' berries. These results indicate that blackberry shelf life can be extended an extra seven days by using CA storage.

Technical Abstract: 'Navaho' and 'Arapaho' blackberries (Rubus sp.) have a shelf life of 7 to 14 days when cooled immediately after harvest and held at 2 C and 95% relative humidity. Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage using a moderate amount of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) without limiting oxygen (O2 ) is used extensively by the produce industry to increase the shelf life of produce. Often, the goal of MA/CA storage is to extend shelf life for weeks or months. Our goal was to study how the application of short-term CA treatments affect subsequent shelf life of blackberries. This study was conducted to determine the CA duration necessary to prevent quality loss for 'Arapaho' and 'Navaho' blackberries. Fruit were stored in air (0.03kPa CO2, 21kPa O2 ) or CA (15kPa CO2, 10kPa O2 ) for 3, 7, or 14 days at 2 C, 95% RH. Decayed, leaky, and soft berries were determined after storage and fruit were analyzed for changes in titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and total anthocyanin content. For both cultivars, at leas seven days of CA was needed to reduce decay and leakage. After 14 days storage, control fruit had 32% decay while treated fruit had 3% decay. Soluble solids content decreased slightly during storage but was not different among treatments. Consumer panels did not detect off-flavors in blackberries treated with CA for 3 or 7 days. In conclusion, a controlled atmosphere of 15% CO2, 10% O2 was effective in reducing decay, leakiness, and compositional changes of firm blackberry cultivars when applied to the fruit for at least seven days.