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Preharvest Peroxyacetic Acid Sprays Slow Decay and Extend Shelf Life of Strawberries

Narciso, J.A., Baldwin, E.A., Plotto, A., Ference, C.M.
HortScience 2007 v.42 no.3 pp. 617
Fragaria ananassa, strawberries, fruit crops, preharvest treatment, peracetic acid, shelf life, postharvest diseases, food spoilage, Rhizopus stolonifer, plant pathogenic fungi, fungal diseases of plants, food microbiology, microbial contamination, sanitizers, sanitizing, flowering, harvest date, application timing, chitosan, edible films, Botrytis cinerea, Florida
Strawberry is an important fruit crop in Florida. Yearly losses can be attributed to pre- and postharvest decay incited by Botrytis cinerea P. Micheli ex Pers. and postharvest decay resulting from primarily Rhizopus stolonifer (Ehrenb. ex Fr.) Vuillemin. In this study, the sanitizer peroxyacetic acid (100 microliter.L(-1)) was sprayed on flowers and developing strawberries 1, 2, and 3 d preharvest. Most of the time, fruit sprayed 3 days before harvest had significantly less decay than fruit sprayed 1 day preharvest or not sprayed when stored at 18 degrees C. Strawberries sprayed in the field with peroxyacetic acid and then coated postharvest with 1% chitosan coating had reduced decay compared with fruit only treated preharvest with peroxyacetic acid (PAA) for up to 12 days in storage. Sensitivity of B. cinerea hyphae and conidia to PAA was shown by the presence of a zone of inhibition using the disc assay method.