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Effect of hot air treatment on quality and ripening of Chinese bayberry fruit

Luo, Zisheng, Xu, Tingqiao, Xie, Jing, Zhang, Li, Xi, Yufang
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2009 v.89 no.3 pp. 443-448
Myrica, tropical and subtropical fruits, fruits (food), fruit quality, ripening, postharvest treatment, heat treatment, postharvest physiology, firmness, cell respiration, ethylene production, enzyme activity, polygalacturonase, pectinesterase, pectins, fruit composition
BACKGROUND: Postharvest decay and softening are the major factors limiting the extension of storage life of Chinese bayberry fruit. To evaluate the effects of hot air treatment (HAT) on Chinese bayberry fruit, fruits were stored at 2 °C after exposure to 20 °C (control), 40 °C (HAT₄₀), 45 °C (HAT₄₅) or 50 °C (HAT₅₀) hot air for 3 h. The effects of HAT on firmness, disease incidence, soluble solid content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), respiration, ethylene production, pectic substances and activities of pectinmethylesterase (PME) and polygalacturonase (PG) were examined.RESULTS: HAT inhibited decrease in firmness, SSC and TA and retarded increase in disease incidence, while it promoted decrease in respiration rate and ethylene production. HAT suppressed the activities of PME and PG, which resulted in delaying the depolymerisation of chelator-soluble and alkali-soluble pectic substances and reducing the increase in water-soluble pectic substances compared with control fruits.CONCLUSION: The present findings show that HAT can maintain postharvest quality and delay ripening of Chinese bayberry fruit and suggest that HAT could be considered for commercial use to extend the postharvest life of Chinese bayberry fruit.