Submitted to: Crop Protection Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Because of environmental and health concerns, key pesticides have recently been withdrawn from the market leaving us without effective alternatives. Of particular concern are the fungicides which are applied to food to protect them from postharvest decay. These are applied close to the time that commodities are harvested and present special pesticide residue problems. Cooperative research among scientists at the USDA, ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL; and the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, has shown that subjecting harvested peaches, apples, and citrus to low-dose UV light will render them more resistant to postharvest decay. This method of treating harvested fruits and vegetables may provide an effective alternative to synthetic fungicides for the control of postharvest diseases. Research is underway to combine low-dose UV-C light treatments with other biologically based postharvest decay treatments.
Technical Abstract: Low hormetic doses of ultraviolet light (254 nm, UV-C) reduced postharvest decay of pome, stone, and citrus fruits. Loring and Elberta peaches, Golden Delicious apples, Marsh Seedless grapefruits, and Dancy tangerines were irradiated with selected low UV-C doses and stored. The application of UV-C reduced postharvest decay which included: brown rot (Monilinia frucicola) of peaches; Alternaria rot (Alternaria spp.), bitter rot (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) of apples and brown rot (Monilinia spp.) of apples; green mold rot (Penicillium digitatum) of grape fruits and tangerines; and stem end rot (Alternaria citri) and sour rot (Geotrichum candicum) of tangerines.