Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #389117

Research Project: Postharvest Protection of Tropical Commodities for Improved Market Access and Quarantine Security

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Application of natural antimicrobials for the preservation of fresh produce

item Sun, Xiuxiu
item Plotto, Anne
item Bai, Jinhe

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fresh produce possess high nutritional value with various health benefits, but their shelf life can be relatively short depending on the commodity. Therefore, the extension of fresh produce’s shelf life is critical for industry and consumers. Natural additives have been widely applied by the food industry for various purposes. Essential oils are natural compounds extracted from plants, many of which show antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. In our research, an active packaging system containing controlled-release essential oils, in sachet or coating form, was applied to fresh blueberries, strawberries, and papaya. Essential oils containing coatings reduced the populations of bacteria and yeasts/molds on the surface of the blueberries up to 6 logs. The activity of the compounds also resulted in significantly reduced weight loss, better firmness, and better sensory taste of blueberries, strawberries, and papaya. Our research results indicate that natural antimicrobial essential oils could be used for the preservation of fresh produce to extend their shelf life.