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Antifungal Edible Coatings for Fresh Citrus Fruit: A Review

Centre de Tecnologia Postcollita (CTP), Institut Valencià d'Investigacions Agràries (IVIA), Apartat Oficial, Montcada 46113, Spain
Departamento de Ciencias de los Alimentos y Biotecnología, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito 170517, Ecuador
Fundació Agroalimed, Apartat Oficial, Montcada 46113, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefano Farris
Coatings 2015, 5(4), 962-986;
Received: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Beverage Packaging Coatings)
PDF [265 KB, uploaded 4 December 2015]


According to their origin, major postharvest losses of citrus fruit are caused by weight loss, fungal diseases, physiological disorders, and quarantine pests. Cold storage and postharvest treatments with conventional chemical fungicides, synthetic waxes, or combinations of them are commonly used to minimize postharvest losses. However, the repeated application of these treatments has led to important problems such as health and environmental issues associated with fungicide residues or waxes containing ammoniacal compounds, or the proliferation of resistant pathogenic fungal strains. There is, therefore, an increasing need to find non-polluting alternatives to be used as part of integrated disease management (IDM) programs for preservation of fresh citrus fruit. Among them, the development of novel natural edible films and coatings with antimicrobial properties is a technological challenge for the industry and a very active research field worldwide. Chitosan and other edible coatings formulated by adding antifungal agents to composite emulsions based on polysaccharides or proteins and lipids are reviewed in this article. The most important antifungal ingredients are selected for their ability to control major citrus postharvest diseases like green and blue molds, caused by Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum, respectively, and include low-toxicity or natural chemicals such as food additives, generally recognized as safe (GRAS) compounds, plant extracts, or essential oils, and biological control agents such as some antagonistic strains of yeasts or bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citrus spp.; postharvest; disease control; fruit quality; fungicide alternatives; edible coatings; chitosan; antifungal ingredients Citrus spp.; postharvest; disease control; fruit quality; fungicide alternatives; edible coatings; chitosan; antifungal ingredients
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Palou, L.; Valencia-Chamorro, S.A.; Pérez-Gago, M.B. Antifungal Edible Coatings for Fresh Citrus Fruit: A Review. Coatings 2015, 5, 962-986.

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