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Application of ozone gas at low doses in the cold storage of fruit and vegetables

Chilosi, G., Tagliavento, V., Simonelli, R.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1071 pp. 681-686
apricots, business enterprises, cold storage, disinfectants, fruits, fungi, guidelines, ozone, pathogens, raw vegetables, shelf life, strawberries, sustainable technology, table grapes, vegetables, Italy
In the last years research on postharvest has been moving towards sustainable technologies aimed at optimizing storage of fruits and vegetables and modified atmosphere. The large antimicrobial capacity of ozone and its relative ease of use, together with characteristic of leaving no residues, make this treatment suitable for numerous applications in this field. SAIM Service, Italy, has undertaken a series of studies in collaboration with DIBAF, Viterbo, University of Tuscia, Italy, with the aim to optimize ozone technology and characterize the guidelines for the application of ozone gas at low concentrations in the cold storage of fruit and vegetables. The effective disinfectant ability of gaseous ozone to prevent rots by fungal pathogens has been analysed along with the reduction of decay of apricots, strawberry and table grape fruits. Parameters analysed were: overall appearance of the product, qualitative characteristics, and development of fungal pathogens during cold storage where ozone was distributed at increasing concentrations. The research was conducted in SAIM SERVICE trial laboratory in order to perform an evaluation and an optimization of dosage and timing parameters of ozone distribution. Phytopathological analyses were performed in the DIBAF laboratory. The results were then validated during cold storage of fresh vegetables and fruits at a number of companies operating in this field. Taken together, results confirm the strong points of ozone treatments at low concentration in the containment of postharvest fungal pathogens along with the extension of shelf life, without causing damage to products and ensuring an excellent efficacy combined with the absence of residual products.