Main content area

Phytochemicals: shelf life and disease resistant elicitors

Khanizadeh, S., Fan, L., Gosselin, A., Desjardins, Y.
Acta horticulturae 2012 no.939 pp. 33-37
antioxidants, apples, biosynthesis, breeding lines, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, cultivars, disease resistance, elicitors, environmental factors, farming systems, foods, fruit maturity, fruit quality, fruits, markets, microclimate, phytochemicals, postharvest treatment, raspberries, risk, secondary metabolites, shelf life, strawberries, vegetables
High dietary intake of fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals has been linked to reduced risks of many chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Value-added foods and nutraceuticals containing such bioactive phyto-chemicals have been popular and made available in the market. Many factors affect the phytochemical concentration in fruits including farming practices, environmental factors and microclimate including the production methods, fruit maturity, pre- and post-harvest handling of the fruits and processing but the genetic factor has the greatest effect on the biosynthesis of antioxidant secondary metabolites. A large variation of antioxidant concentrations exist within apple, strawberry and raspberry cultivars and breeding lines and it is possible to use this as a marker to design specialty fruits for niche marketing. The phytochemical profiles and chemical content of fruits not only affect the fruit quality but also have an important function in the plant’s disease resistance mechanism and its shelf life. The increase and/or decrease in phytochemical both can be useful in designing fruits: elevated concentra-tion of antioxidants could extend the shelf life and reduce the incidence of post harvest diseases. New developed raspberries and strawberries rich in phytochemical and new released apples will be presented and discussed.