Effect of combinations of hot water dips, biological control and controlled atmospheres for control of gray mold on harvested strawberries

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The efficacy of hot water, biological control and controlled atmospheres (CA), alone and in combinations, in controlling gray mold on harvested strawberry fruit was tested. All fruit were wound inoculated with Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. Inoculated fruit were subsequently dipped in hot water at 63 °C for 12 s, inoculated with a biological control yeast, Pichia guilliermondii Wickerham, and/or immediately stored at 5 °C under air or 15 kPa CO2 for 5 and 14 days followed by 2 days at 20 °C to simulate market conditions. Fruit treated with the combination of heat, biocontrol, and CA had significantly less decay than those in all of the other treatments after 5 days at 5 °C plus 2 days at 20 °C. After 14 days at 5 °C and 14 days at 5 °C plus 2 days at 20 °C, the heat+biocontrol+CA treatment continued to control decay though not significantly more than CA alone, biocontrol+CA, or heat+CA treatments. Some damage occurred following heat treatment; however, quality parameters did not differ between treatments. Overall, the combination treatments did not provide better control than the current commercially used treatment of 15 kPa CO2.

A.L. Wszelaki
E.J. Mitcham
Postharvest Biology and Technology