Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2015
Publication Date: 12/31/2014
Citation: Sun, X., Zhou, K., Narcisco, J., Ference, C.M., Bai, J. 2014. The effect of chlorine dioxide and chitosan/essential oil coatings on the safety and quality of fresh blueberries. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 127:120-123. Interpretive Summary: Postharvest application of chemicals is increasingly concerning due to its hazard to the environment and human health. It is necessary to develop alternative non-chemical or low-chemical treatments for maintaining quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. We evaluated two new methods to extend storage life of fresh blueberries by using natural compounds extracted from plant tissues, and by a non-residue chemical chlorine dioxide (ClO2). They effectively controlled food pathogen bacteria and decay pathogen fungae.
Technical Abstract: Blueberries are high-value fruit with strong antioxidant capacity and other health-promoting benefits. Controlled release chlorine dioxide (ClO2) or chitosan coating plus different essential oils were applied to fresh blueberries to preserve their quality and safety during postharvest storage. In vitro studies revealed that six essential oils and ClO2 gas inhibited the growth of food pathogen bacterium and fruit decay pathogen fungus. Controlled-release ClO2 and three essential oils, carvacrol (CAR), cinnamaldehyde (CIN) and trans-cinnamaldehyde (ECIN) with high antimicrobial capacity were applied to blueberries in vivo, and the anti-microbial activity of each treatment was monitored during cold storage and at room temperature. Controlled-release ClO2 and a combination of CAR, CIN or ECIN with chitosan coating effectively reduced microbial growth and slowed fruit softening.. Our results suggest that controlled-release ClO2 and chitosan coatings containing essential oils are effective in extending the shelf life of fresh blueberries and other fruits.