Link to home

Fumigation of Fruit with Short-Chain Organic Acids to Reduce the Potential of Postharvest Decay

June 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  6
Pages  689 - 693

P. L. Sholberg , Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, B.C. Canada

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 11 February 1998.

Vapors of acetic (1.9 or 2.5 μl/liter), formic (1.2 μl/liter), and propionic (2.5 μl/liter) acids were tested for postharvest decay control on 8 cherry, 14 pome, and 3 citrus fruit cultivars. Surfacesterilized fruit were inoculated with known fungal pathogens by drying 20-μl drops of spore suspension on marked locations on each fruit, placing at 10°C to equilibrate for approximately 24 h, and fumigating by evaporating the above acids in 12.7-liter airtight fumigation chambers for 30 min. Immediately after fumigation, the fruit were removed, aerated, aseptically injured, and placed at 20°C until decay occurred. All three fumigants controlled Monilinia fructicola, Penicillium expansum, and Rhizopus stolonifer on cherry. Formic acid increased fruit pitting on six of eight cultivars and was the only organic acid to increase blackening of cherry stems when compared to the control. Decay of pome fruit caused by P. expansum was reduced from 98% to 16, 4, or 8% by acetic, formic, and propionic acids, respectively, without injury to the fruit. Decay of citrus fruit by P. digitatum was reduced from 86 to 11% by all three acids, although browning of the fruit peel was observed on grapefruit and oranges fumigated with formic acid.

Additional keywords: apple, stone fruit

© 1998 Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Government of Canada