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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #61231


item Perkins Veazie, Penelope
item Collins, Julie

Submitted to: Advances in Strawberry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Strawberries have a short shelflife of 5 to 7 days. Fruit must be harvested near full ripeness, making them soft and susceptible to injury and decay. High quality fruit are bright red, sweet, firm, and flavorful. For fresh market use, fruit are cooled as soon as possible and maintained under refrigeration. For processing, fruit are cooled then individually quick frozen. There are new technologies and research on strawberries to enhance shelflife before and after harvest. These include use of controlled atmosphere storage, where fruit are stored under high levels of carbon dioxide, the use of naturally produced volatiles to inhibit fungal growth, and the use of molecular biology to locate the genes responsible for softening and ripening.

Technical Abstract: Strawberry fruit are highly perishable. Fruit must be harvested when fully ripe and consequently are soft, have a high respiration rate, and are more susceptible to handling injury and decay. Postharvest handling for fresh market use requires removal of field heat followed by refrigeration during transit and storage. More widespread use of controlled atmosphere storage (high carbon dioxide) during transit and storage is being used to inhibit decay and maintain bright color. Individual quick freeze (IQF) is now being used more frequently for fruit destined for processing markets. New technologies for postharvest handling include use of hydrocooling, naturally produced volatiles or competitive organisms for fungal inhibition, and changes in packaging. Use of molecular biology and improved knowledge of strawberry aromatic biosynthesis may lead to firmer, more flavorful fruit with longer shelflife.