The effect of post-harvest treatment on the quality of sweet cherries during storage
Keywords:Prunus avium L., sweet cherries, Xtend, carbon dioxide, weight loss
Cherries are a traditional commodity grown in the Czech Republic. Placing into a cold room is essential for the fruit to be preserved in the long term. Even if optimum storage conditions are followed, the shelf life is relatively short. This study observed the effect of packing cherries into the Xtend polymer wrap on slowing down the degradation of the fruit during the storage period. The experiment was conducted using 4 varieties of the sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) from the identical site (Stošíkovice, Czech Republic) - 'Vanda', 'Kordia', 'Sweetheart' and 'Regina'. Part of the fruit was stored at 20 °C for 7 days (conditions in retail chains) and other part of the fruit was stored at 1 °C for 50 days, first half of fruit was stored in Xtend polymer wrap and second half in the normal air conditions. Changes were also investigated in fruit quality parameters (soluble solids, titratable acidity, weight loss, peel firmness and respiration intensity) under the shelf life conditions when the fruit was placed at the distribution temperature of 20 °C after removal from the store and analysed after 5 and 10 days. Packed fruit exhibited significantly lower weight loss than unpacked fruit. Unpacked fruits showed visible signs of wilting and it is connected to the water loss and loss of turgidity of fruit. Soluble solids content and titratable acidity reduced generally less in unpacked fruit, which was probably related to the higher weight loss in this variant. Between the packaged and control fruit firmness was not statistically significant. Carbon dioxide production characteristic the intensity of respiration was typically higher at 1 °C for fruit packed in the Xtend film. This fruit, however, largely responded by reducing the intensity of respiration when removed from the store and placed at 20 °C, whereas in unpacked fruit there was a several-fold increase in carbon dioxide production under such conditions.
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