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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Ayala-zavala, J. Fernando
item Wang, Chien
item Wang, Shiow
item Gonzalez-aguilar, Gustavo

Submitted to: Food Technology and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2006
Publication Date: 4/20/2007
Citation: Ayala-Zavala, J., Wang, C.Y., Wang, S.Y., Gonzalez-Aguilar, G.A. 2007. Response of strawberry fruit to high oxygen treatment. Food Technology and Biotechnology. 45:166-173.

Interpretive Summary: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. The main reason for health benefits of fruits and vegetables is they contain a lot of vitamins and other beneficial natural compounds called antioxidants. However, there is not much known about changes in antioxidant levels in fresh fruits and vegetables after harvest or how to maintain or increase these levels. This is important because antioxidant content can decline rapidly after harvest due to mishandling. In our experiments, we treated strawberry fruit with high concentrations of oxygen immediately after harvest and found that this treatment helped maintain levels of antioxidants during storage. This high oxygen treatment increased amounts of other good nutrients and retarded the decay of strawberries during storage. Therefore, it is possible that both health benefits and shelf-life can be improved by postharvest treatment with high oxygen. This information can be used by the berry industry and will also be beneficial to consumers.

Technical Abstract: The antioxidant capacity, total phenolics, volatile compounds, and postharvest quality of strawberry fruit were evaluated after storage in high oxygen atmospheres (40, 60, 80, and 100 kPa) during 14 days at 5 °C. Strawberries stored at high oxygen atmospheres (>40 kPa) showed higher antioxidant capacity, total phenolics, less decay, and longer postharvest life than those stored in air. Fruit stored under high oxygen atmospheres generally emitted lower levels of volatile compounds than those stored in air. However, individual volatile compounds were affected differently. While the emission of most volatiles declined under high oxygen atmospheres during storage, the production of some volatile compounds such as methyl acetate and methyl hexanoate increased. In conclusion, strawberries stored in superatmospheric oxygen condition maintained higher levels of antioxidant capacity but retained lower levels of volatile production than those stored in air.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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