Main content area

Chitosan coating effect on vase life of flowering stems of Heliconia bihai (L.) L. cv. Halloween

Bañuelos-Hernández, K.P., García-Nava, J.R., Leyva-Ovalle, O.R., Peña-Valdivia, C.B., Trejo, C., Ybarra-Moncada, M.C.
Postharvest biology and technology 2017 v.132 pp. 179-187
Heliconia bihai, anthocyanins, bracts, cell membranes, chitosan, coatings, color, cut flowers, floriculture, flowering, ornamental plants, peduncle, postharvest treatment, stems, sugars, vase life, weight loss, world markets
Tropical ornamentals such as heliconias play a key role in the growth of the floriculture market due to their bright coloured and attractively shaped inflorescences. Heliconia bihai is one of the most popular of the Heliconias in the global market. New postharvest handling techniques to increase distribution of the cut flowers without compromising flower stem quality as measured by vase life are needed. The effects of chitosan coating on vase life of flower stems of Heliconia bihai (L.) L. Halloween stored under laboratory conditions has been studied. Flowering stem fresh weight loss, bract colour (L*, C* and h°), concentration of anthocyanin, total flavonoids and total sugars, percentage of absolute integrity of cell membranes (PAI) of stem, peduncle and bracts, and duration of vase life were evaluated on day 1, 5, 10 and the final day of vase life. Concentrations of 1.0 and 1.5% of chitosan, extended the vase life by 10.3 and 7 d more than the control, respectively. An internal cell damage gradient from the base to the apex based on ion release was observed and the visual quality of inflorescences decreased over time in all treatments, but at different rates.