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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(2), 917-934; doi:10.3390/ijms12020917

Effects of Chitin and Its Derivative Chitosan on Postharvest Decay of Fruits: A Review

* ,
College of Food and Biological Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, Jiangsu, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2010 / Revised: 21 January 2011 / Accepted: 25 January 2011 / Published: 27 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
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Considerable economic losses to harvested fruits are caused by postharvest fungal decay during transportation and storage, which can be significantly controlled by synthetic fungicides. However, considering public concern over pesticide residues in food and the environment, there is a need for safer alternatives for the control of postharvest decay to substitute synthetic fungicides. As the second most abundant biopolymer renewable source in nature, chitin and its derivative chitosan are widely used in controlling postharvest decay of fruits. This review aims to introduce the effect of chitin and chitosan on postharvest decay in fruits and the possible modes of action involved. We found most of the actions discussed in these researches rest on physiological mechanisms. All of the mechanisms are summarized to lay the groundwork for further studies which should focus on the molecular mechanisms of chitin and chitosan in controlling postharvest decay of fruits.
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; fruits; postharvest decay; control efficacy; mechanisms   chitin; chitosan; fruits; postharvest decay; control efficacy; mechanisms  
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, H.; Li, R.; Liu, W. Effects of Chitin and Its Derivative Chitosan on Postharvest Decay of Fruits: A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 917-934.

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