Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2013
Publication Date: 4/11/2014
Citation: Wang, Z., Narciso, J.A., Biotteau, A., Plotto, A., Bai, J. 2014. Plant physiological response of strawberry fruit to chlorine dioxide gas treatment during postharvest storage. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 126:192-195.
Interpretive Summary: In addition to sanitation, ClO2 treatment at 0.5g induced closing of strawberry stomata, and markedly slowed weight loss, and softening of strawberries. ClO2 decreased water loss possibly through inducing stomatal closure. The consequence of higher fruit firmness in ClO2 treated fruit maybe reduced senescence. Together with the sanitation effect, ClO2 is a very powerful tool for postharvest handling and storage in strawberry. However, we did not see significant influence on SSC, TA and surface color. As strawberry is a highly perishable horticultural fruit with a short shelf life in air at room temperature, the extension of the shelf life and maintenance of visual quality after harvest in the ClO2 treatment will contribute to reducing postharvest economic loss for the industry and provide fresher produce for consumers.
Technical Abstract: Chlorine dioxide, a strong oxidizing and sanitizing agent, is used as a postharvest sanitizer for fruits and vegetables and generally applied on a packing line using a chlorine dioxide generator. The objective of this research was to study the physiological responses of strawberries to ClO2 when applied to the fruit using a crystalline form of ClO2 in a sachet for clamshell packaging. This allowed ClO2 to release gradually during storage and distribution. Strawberries were packed in commercial clamshells, with or without ClO2 treatments, and stored at 1 °C and 5 °C for 14 days to simulate cold storage/shipping conditions and at 10 °C and 20 °C for 7 days to simulate refrigerated and non-refrigerated shelf conditions. The effect of ClO2 on strawberries was assessed by determining weight loss, firmness, surface color, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), respiration rate, ethylene production and stomate activity. Chlorine dioxide treatment at 0.5 g per clamshell induced closing of stomata, and markedly slowed weight loss, and softening of strawberry fruit at 10 °C or lower temperatures. However, the effect disappeared when ClO2 dosage was 0.2 g per clamshell at any temperature, or storage temperature was 20 °C at any ClO2 dosage. Soluble solids content and TA were stable during storage regardless of storage temperature and ClO2 treatment. Surface color values were not significantly different between treatments.