Special Issue "Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Isabel Lara Ayala
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Postharvest Unit, University of Lleida - Agrotècnio Center, Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Catalonia, Spain
Interests: biochemistry and physiology of fruit ripening; postharvest biology; technology of fruit produce
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fruits and vegetables are economically-important crops world-wide. These produce remain metabolically-active after harvest and are, thus, highly perishable. The preservation of their quality is, therefore, challenging, particularly when far-away destination markets are the objective, and the use of synthetic agrochemicals for quality maintenance is ever more regarded as unacceptable by local and international regulations, as well as by consumers themselves. This results in large quantitative and qualitative postharvest losses. Adequate, commodity-tailored postharvest handling and storage procedures are required in order to meet quality expectations by final consumers, which will require a good comprehension of the physiological and biochemical events taking place during maturation, ripening and postharvest periods.

This Special Issue welcomes original research and review articles that provide insights on all topics related to postharvest biology and technology of fruits and vegetables. The scope of submission includes all aspects of quality (texture, flavor, appearance, pathology, safety, nutritional and health-promoting properties), as well as postharvest operations (quality evaluation, treatments, storage, packaging, commercial handling).

Prof. Dr. Isabel Lara
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Postharvest
  • Quality
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Technology
  • Commercialization

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Extending the Shelf Life of White Peach Fruit with 1-Methylcyclopropene and Aloe arborescens Edible Coating
Agriculture 2020, 10(5), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10050151 - 04 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
The maintenance of high-quality standards for prolonging the shelf life of fruit and preserving sensory and nutritional quality is a priority for horticultural products. The aim of this work is to test the effectiveness of a single treatment of edible coating based on [...] Read more.
The maintenance of high-quality standards for prolonging the shelf life of fruit and preserving sensory and nutritional quality is a priority for horticultural products. The aim of this work is to test the effectiveness of a single treatment of edible coating based on Aloe arborescens (EC) and a combined treatment of 1-methylcycyclopropene (1-MCP) and edible coating to prolong the shelf life of “Settembrina” white flesh peach fruit. White flesh peach fruit were harvested at the commercial ripening stage, treated with an edible coating (EC) or 1-MCP + EC or 1-MCP, and stored for 28 days at 1 °C. After 7, 14, 21, and 28 days, fruits were removed from cold storage, transferred at 20 °C and then analyzed immediately (cold out) and after 6 days (shelf life) to evaluate the combined effect of cold storage and room temperature. The fruits were tested for carotenoids content, phenolic content, reducing activity (ABTS). The physicochemical traits were measured in terms of the titratable acidity, total soluble content, weight loss, and vitamin C content. Moreover, their sensory profile was analyzed by a semi-trained panel. Fruit treated with EC and 1-MCP + EC kept their marketing values better than control after 14 days of storage and 6 days of simulated shelf life in terms of flesh firmness, total soluble solids and titratable acidity, as well as sensory parameters. After 21 days of storage, all treatments showed a deterioration of all the quality parameters. The single and combined application of Aloe-based coating (with 1-MCP) slowed down the maturation processes of the fruit, limited the weight loss, and preserved its organoleptic characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition of the Cuticle Membrane of Pitaya Fruits (Hylocereus Polyrhizus)
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120250 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
This study comprehensively analysed the chemical composition of the cuticle in pitaya fruits. The total coverage amount of the waxes versus cutin monomers accumulated at a ratio of 0.6, corresponding to masses per unit of 30.3 μg·cm−2 and 50.8 μg·cm−2, [...] Read more.
This study comprehensively analysed the chemical composition of the cuticle in pitaya fruits. The total coverage amount of the waxes versus cutin monomers accumulated at a ratio of 0.6, corresponding to masses per unit of 30.3 μg·cm−2 and 50.8 μg·cm−2, respectively. The predominant wax mixtures were n-alkanes in homologous series of C20–C35, dominated by C31 and C33; as well as triterpenoids with an abundant amount of uvaol, lupenon, β-amyrinon, and β-amyrin. The most prominent cutin compounds were C16- and C18-type monomers, in which 9(10),16-diOH-hexadecanoic acid and 9,10-epoxy-ω-OH-octadecanoic acid predominated, respectively. The average chain length (ACL) of aliphates in pitaya fruit cuticle (30.5) was similar to that estimated in leaf waxes, and higher than that in most of the fruit and petal waxes that have been reported. We propose that the relatively high ACL and wax/cutin ratio might enhance the cuticular barrier properties in pitaya fruit cuticle to withstand drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Treatment with Electrolyzed Oxidizing Water on Postharvest Diseases of Avocado
Agriculture 2019, 9(11), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9110241 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
The present study comprised five trials to investigate the efficacy of postharvest treatment with electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water on postharvest disease development in avocado. Mature (dry matter 24–34%), hard green fruit cv. Hass (four trials), and cv. Wurtz (one trial) from orchards receiving [...] Read more.
The present study comprised five trials to investigate the efficacy of postharvest treatment with electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water on postharvest disease development in avocado. Mature (dry matter 24–34%), hard green fruit cv. Hass (four trials), and cv. Wurtz (one trial) from orchards receiving minimal fungicide sprays were sourced, and subsequently dipped for 30 s in treatment solutions. Fruit were ripened at 23 °C and 65% relative humidity to encourage postharvest disease development, and assessed when ripe for anthracnose and stem end rot (SER), arising from natural field infections and/or the size of lesions resulting from post-treatment inoculation with Colletotrichum siamense. In the case of natural infection, EO water treatment reduced severity of SER disease by 30–75% compared with water treated control fruit in all four trials where it was assessed. Reduction in severity of SER after Graduate A+ fungicide or hypochlorite (NaOCl) bleach treatment ranged from 60–88% or 25–50%, respectively, compared with water controls. Under extremely high anthracnose disease pressure, 20% v/v EO water, NaOCl, as well as Graduate A+ fungicide treatments were mostly ineffective. Treatments in the final trial were applied as overhead sprays in an experimental-scale packing line to simulate commercial conditions. This was the only trial where anthracnose (as well as SER) was significantly reduced in fruit by 20% v/v EO water (12–35%) and Graduate A+ (34%) compared with water control. In two trials with C. siamense-inoculated fruit, anthracnose lesion size was reduced by 68–85%, and 90–100% by 20% v/v EO water and Graduate A+, respectively, compared with water-treated fruit. Fruit firmness and the number of days to ripen were mostly not affected by the treatments. This study demonstrates the potential for electrolyzed oxidizing water to be incorporated into integrated management programs for postharvest diseases of avocado, and possibly other fresh produce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
Combination of Ascophyllum nodosum Extract and Humic Acid Improve Early Growth and Reduces Post-Harvest Loss of Lettuce and Spinach
Agriculture 2019, 9(11), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9110240 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach are prone to significant post-harvest losses during handling and storage. The pre-harvest treatment of crops with biostimulants offers a sustainable strategy for reducing post-harvest losses. Earlier studies focused on the effect of plant biostimulants applied individually. In [...] Read more.
Leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach are prone to significant post-harvest losses during handling and storage. The pre-harvest treatment of crops with biostimulants offers a sustainable strategy for reducing post-harvest losses. Earlier studies focused on the effect of plant biostimulants applied individually. In this study, we studied the efficacy of a combined application of two commonly used plant biostimulants: Ascophyllum nodosum extract (ANE) and humic acid (HA). Interestingly, the combination of both biostimulants improved early growth of lettuce and spinach compared to ANE and HA alone. Among the combinations used in this study, 0.25% ANE + 0.2% HA produced significantly higher fresh and dry biomass in lettuce and spinach compared to the other treatments and the control. Pre-harvest treatment of combination of 0.25% ANE and 0.2% HA significantly reduced the loss of fresh biomass during post-harvest storage. The combination of 0.25% ANE and 0.2% HA reduced lipid peroxidation during storage with an increase in total ascorbate, phenolic, and antioxidant capacity of spinach and lettuce. These results suggest that a combination of ANE and HA reduces post-harvest losses of spinach and lettuce more effectively than when applied individually. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Late-Maturing Peach and Nectarine Fruit Quality by Chemical, Physical, and Sensory Determinations
Agriculture 2019, 9(9), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9090189 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1068
Abstract
In this work, both analytical and sensory determinations were carried out to evaluate the quality of yellow (‘Summerset‘, ‘Tardiva 2000‘, ‘Fairtime’, ‘Guglielmina’) and white flesh (‘Daniela’) late-ripening peach and nectarine (‘California’ and ‘Fairlane’) cultivars. Analytical measurements included weight, diameter, soluble solid content, titratable [...] Read more.
In this work, both analytical and sensory determinations were carried out to evaluate the quality of yellow (‘Summerset‘, ‘Tardiva 2000‘, ‘Fairtime’, ‘Guglielmina’) and white flesh (‘Daniela’) late-ripening peach and nectarine (‘California’ and ‘Fairlane’) cultivars. Analytical measurements included weight, diameter, soluble solid content, titratable acidity, pH, and peel color. To describe and quantify the peach and nectarine sensory profile, a panel of 10 judges generated 15 descriptors. According to univariate analysis of fruit quality attributes, ‘Fairtime’, ‘Summerset, ‘Daniela’, and ‘California’ produced large and attractive fruits with an extensive red peel color. On the other hand, ‘Guglielmina’, ‘Daniela’, ‘Tardiva 2000’, and ‘Fairlane’ produced superior quality fruit in terms of soluble solids, titratable acidity, sweetness, and flavor. The white flesh peach ‘Daniela’ produced fruits with the best balance between external and internal quality. Cluster analysis on standardized component coordinates from biplot analysis allowed for the identification of two main groups. One group included ‘Daniela’, ‘Guglielmin’, ‘Tardiva 2000’, and ‘Fairlane’, along with attributes that are more indicative of ripe fruit such as soluble solids, sweetness, sugar/acid, juiciness, ground color index, peel color uniformity, flesh color intensity, mealiness, peach odor and flavor, and flower odor and flavor. The other group included ‘Summerset’, ‘Fairtime’, and ‘California’ along with weight, diameter, consistency, flesh firmness, percentage of cover color, bitterness, titratable acidity, sour odor and flavor, and grassy odor and flavor. The dual approach adopted in this study indicates that cultivars with large and attractive fruits are often lacking real eating quality. This poses serious doubts on the real value of exterior appearance for recognizing high-quality peaches and nectarines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Optimum Harvesting Maturity of Makhwaen Fruit for the Perfumery Industry
Agriculture 2019, 9(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9040078 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Harvesting makhwaen (Zanthoxylum myriacanthum Wall. ex Hook. f) fruits at the appropriate maturity is the key to ensure that the essential oil quality meets the need of consumers. In common practice, the fruits are usually harvested when their pericarps start to open [...] Read more.
Harvesting makhwaen (Zanthoxylum myriacanthum Wall. ex Hook. f) fruits at the appropriate maturity is the key to ensure that the essential oil quality meets the need of consumers. In common practice, the fruits are usually harvested when their pericarps start to open and fruits are greenish-red in colour depending on the judgment of the farmers. This leads to inconsistencies in the essential oil quality. This research aims at characterising the aromatic profiles of makhwaen essential oil thereby for consumers to choose the quality that best fits their need and eventually identify the optimum harvesting index of the fruits. The effects of maturity states viz. 15, 36, 45 and 60 (MK15-60) days after fruiting on chemical and sensorial quality of the essential oil was evaluated. Fruit sizes ranged from ~3.3–3.7 mm and fruits appeared to dry initially when they reached 45 days. Essential oils were extracted from these fruits after they had been oven dried (60 °C) to the same moisture content, about 10%. The chemical profiles of the essential oil were different. L-limonene and sabinene were evaluated as key components for good quality essential oil and they were found to be higher in MK45 and MK60 (max = 139.04 µg·mL−1 and max = 146.27 respectively). NIR spectral patterns of pure extracted oil for every different harvesting time (of every different harvesting time of MK60 and MK36) were similar. Sensorial descriptive analysis by semi-trained panellists defined six terms for characteristics (woody, citrus, herb, sweet, pine and spice). The panels provided the highest rating score (15 numeric scale) of citrus and pine scents at MK45, while sweet and woody aromas were the highest at MK15. The spice scent was maximum when the fruits were harvested at 36 days after fruiting. From this study we suggest that the optimum harvesting index for the distinctive aroma of essential oil ought to be at late harvesting (45–60 days after fruiting). The findings contribute to our understanding of the harvesting maturity, which can also provide significant benefit for the perfumery industry, i.e., the optimum harvesting stage that imparts the essential oil with highest quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Parameter Approach for Apricot Texture Analysis
Agriculture 2019, 9(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9040073 - 09 Apr 2019
Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Apricots have a short storage life principally caused by a rapid softening, which increases the sensitivity of the fruit to mechanical damage, and to the development of fungal diseases. The current methods to assess fruit firmness give limited information on the evolution and [...] Read more.
Apricots have a short storage life principally caused by a rapid softening, which increases the sensitivity of the fruit to mechanical damage, and to the development of fungal diseases. The current methods to assess fruit firmness give limited information on the evolution and the mechanisms of softening. With the aim of developing novel strategies to better monitor fruit softening, a multi-parameter approach measuring textural properties was evaluated and compared to a reference method whose results are obtained from a unique parameter. ‘Goldrich’ and ‘Orangered®’ apricots were used in this study as representative cultivars with substantially different post-harvest behavior. The results showed that this multi-parametric approach allows detailed evaluation of the influence of storage conditions on apricots’ textural properties. The correlations found between firmness values measured by the standard method and the multiple textural parameters obtained by the compression and the puncture tests on the fruit flesh had r-values ranging from 0.6 to 0.78. Parameters related to the skin were, however, poorly correlated with the standard method, with r-values all below 0.4. Taken together, these results demonstrate that a multi-parameter approach allows a better understanding of how storage conditions influence the softening of apricots in a cultivar-specific manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
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