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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #300209

Title: Improving storability of fresh strawberries with controlled release chlorine dioxide in perforated clamshell packaging

item WANG, ZHE - Jilin University
item Narciso, Jan
item BIOTTEAU, ALICE - Ensat
item Plotto, Anne
item Baldwin, Elizabeth - Liz
item Bai, Jinhe

Submitted to: Food and Bioprocess Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2014
Publication Date: 11/1/2014
Citation: Wang, Z., Narciso, J.A., Biotteau, A., Plotto, A., Baldwin, E.A., Bai, J. 2014. Improving storability of fresh strawberries with controlled release chlorine dioxide in perforated clamshell packaging. Food and Bioprocess Technology. 7(12):3516-3524.

Interpretive Summary: A time-release chlorine dioxide pad was applied to strawberries in commercial clamshells. The treatment reduced fruit decay, decreased weight loss, and maintained fruit firmness at 10 °C or lower temperature. This technology has a potential to be adopted by the fruit and vegetable industry and improve the produce quality and safety.

Technical Abstract: Chlorine dioxide (ClO2), a strong oxidizing and sanitizing agent, is used as a postharvest sanitizer for fruits and vegetables and generally applied on packing lines using a ClO2 generator. The objective of this research was to study the physiological response of strawberries to ClO2 when applied to the fruit using a crystalline form, which allows ClO2 gas to release gradually during storage and be distributed in a perforated clamshell. Four experiments were conducted over 2011 to 2013. Strawberries were packed in commercial one-pound clamshells, with or without ClO2 treatments, and stored at 1 °C and 6 °C for up to 14 days to simulate cold storage/shipping conditions and at 10 °C and 20 °C for up to 7 days to simulate refrigerated and non-refrigerated shelf conditions. The effect of ClO2 on strawberries was assessed by measuring weight loss, firmness, surface color, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), volatile composition and stomate activity during storage. Chlorine dioxide treatments induced closing of stomata, and markedly slowed weight loss and softening of strawberry fruit at 10 °C or lower temperatures, but not at 20 °C. Soluble solids content, TA and surface color values were not significantly changed during storage and ClO2 treatment did not affect the values. Fruit flavor profiles were not affected by ClO2 treatment although principle component analysis discriminated samples by storage temperature and duration.