|Authors: ||V. Ferri, T. Yaseen, A. Ricelli, G. Colelli|
|Keywords: ||quality, colony forming units, rotting, pesticide residues, shelf life|
Controlling microbial contamination is a critical aspect of reducing losses of harvested apple fruit during storage.
The use of synthetic pesticides is still an essential tool; however, the future use of these compounds is increasingly limited due to the onset of pathogen resistance and to growing consumer demand for fruits free of pesticide residues.
In this work, we evaluated two different strategies for the storage of 'Cripps Pink' apples.
In the first one, the apples were sprayed with electrolyzed water (EW) at 400 mg L-1 of free available chlorine (FAC) in the field before harvest, and were then stored at 1°C under controlled atmosphere for 4 months.
At the end of the storage period, the percentage of rotted apples, especially with regard to Gloesporium spp. rotting, was evaluated and compared to the percentage of conventionally treated (pyraclostrobin+boscalid) apples.
In the second storage strategy, apples were not treated with EW in the field, but moved directly to the storage facility after harvest, where they were stored for 2 months at 1°C in controlled atmosphere, and then either washed with working line water, or washed by dipping in EW at 50 mg L-1 or washed by spraying with EW at 400 mg L-1 FAC. After washing, the apples were stored at 25°C and checked every seven days.
The bacterial contamination of washing water and the presence of pesticide residues on apples were also analyzed.
The results evidenced that the percentage of rotted apples was significantly lower if the apples were treated with EW at 400 mg L-1 of FAC before harvest.
EW can be considered as an effective means of controlling microbial contamination and rotting.
EW also can reduce the pesticide residues in 'Cripps Pink' apples.
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