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Title: Testing efficiencies of postharvest decay controls

item Narciso, Jan

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2007
Publication Date: 3/20/2008
Citation: Narciso, J.A. 2007. Testing efficiencies of postharvest decay controls. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 120:276.

Interpretive Summary: There are ever increasing numbers of antimicrobial compounds available as treatments to extend shelf-life of minimally processed fruits and to control post harvest decay on fresh market fruit. Most microorganisms are controlled by specific compounds or groups of compounds and to ascertain which compounds would be useful on a specific organism requires screening many different antimicrobials. A small, moist chamber system was developed which allows for rapid evaluation of many compounds and their efficiencies to control a specific organism or group of organisms.

Technical Abstract: Antimicrobial compounds are not generic. For the control of most disease causing organisms, a specific compound or group of compounds are necessary to inhibit growth or destroy the organism. Most of ten initial screening of compounds is done in a Petri dish using a method such as the disc assay or agar diffusion. The antagonistic compound is in contact with the agar and the organism only. If these tests are positive, the method is scaled up using large amounts of produce and experimental compound. However, often components in the peel of the fruit or vegetable under study interfere with the activity of the compound. An intermediate method where actual pieces of the commodity are in contact with the experimental compound would be a bridging method which would illustrate if such a problem is evident. The small chamber described in this paper is method where compound and commodity are placed together with the disease causing organism in a moist, controlled environment. The progress if the disease can be monitored as well as the activity of the antimicrobial on the organism.