Special Issue "Postharvest Storage Techniques and Quality Evaluation of Fruits and Vegetables"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elazar Fallik
Website
Guest Editor
ARO-the Volcani Center, Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, 68 HaMakkabbim Road, P.O. Box 15159, Rishon LeZiyyon 7505101, Israel
Interests: postharvest physiology; pathology; sensory and biochemistry issues; fruit; vegetables
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Carmit Ziv
Website
Guest Editor
ARO-the Volcani Center, Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, 68 HaMakkabbim Road, P.O. Box 15159, Rishon LeZiyyon 7505101, Israel
Interests: pathology; physiology; shelf-life; postharvest disease; fruit; vegetables, nutritional values

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fruits and vegetables are marketed in a variety of colors, shapes, flavors, aromas and textures, but their full nutritional importance has only been explored and recognized recently. Losses in produce have always been a limitation for modern agriculture, and include any damage to the quantity and quality of produce from the moment of harvest until consumption. The magnitude of postharvest losses in fresh produce is estimated to be 5% to 25% in developed countries and 25% to 50% in developing countries. This enormous waste of fresh food poses a significant economic, social and ecological burden on humanity and thus there is an urge to improve current practice and to develop new means to reduce it. Technological advances like the online monitoring of the environment or the produce state, and the active modulation of storage conditions, in parallel with increased public awareness of food quality introduce both opportunities as well as challenges to the field. In this Special Issue, we welcome original research, reviews and opinions concerning recent insights, approaches, and advances in the pre- and postharvest handling of perishable fresh produce aiming to preserve its quality and reduce losses.

Prof. Elazar Fallik
Dr. Carmit Ziv
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • marketing
  • nutritional levels
  • pathology
  • physiology
  • sensory
  • shelf-life
  • quality

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Extended Storage of Yellow Pepper Fruits at Suboptimal Temperatures May Alter Their Physical and Nutritional Quality
Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1109; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081109 - 31 Jul 2020
Abstract
Yellow sweet peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Dinamo) are generally more susceptible than red sweet peppers to physiological and pathological deterioration after harvest. Yellow peppers also fetch higher prices at market. In this study, we examined the external and nutritional quality attributes [...] Read more.
Yellow sweet peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Dinamo) are generally more susceptible than red sweet peppers to physiological and pathological deterioration after harvest. Yellow peppers also fetch higher prices at market. In this study, we examined the external and nutritional quality attributes of yellow pepper fruits stored at suboptimal temperatures of 1.5 and 4 °C for 3 weeks, followed by a 3-day shelf-life simulation. Notably, yellow peppers kept in plastic (Xtend®, Stepac, Tefen, Israel) bags at 4 °C maintained their external quality just as well as peppers stored at the optimum temperature of 7 °C. In addition, nutrient content (namely ascorbic acid) and total phenolic and hydrophilic antioxidant contents were not reduced when the peppers were kept at suboptimal storage temperatures of 4 or 1.5 °C in Xtend® plastic packaging. Thus, the external and nutritional qualities of yellow pepper fruits can be preserved at suboptimal temperatures of 4 °C with Xtend® plastic packaging. This is particularly significant in light of the fact that storage at such temperatures is sometimes used as a quarantine method to eliminate pests on produce imported into Israel. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Browning of Early and Late-Harvested ‘Empire’ Apples Affected by Cold Storage and 1-MCP
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10071050 - 21 Jul 2020
Abstract
The effects of harvest time, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and air storage time on the susceptibility of flesh browning in ‘Empire’ apples were studied during a seven-day shelf life period after air storage at 0.5 °C for seven months. Early- or late-harvested ‘Empire’ apples without [...] Read more.
The effects of harvest time, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and air storage time on the susceptibility of flesh browning in ‘Empire’ apples were studied during a seven-day shelf life period after air storage at 0.5 °C for seven months. Early- or late-harvested ‘Empire’ apples without 1-MCP increased production of ethylene, respiration rates and internal ethylene concentration during the shelf life. Respiration rates increased in the late-harvested fruit for the shelf life period with/without 1-MCP treatment. The 1-MCP-treated fruit was approximately 10 N firmer than fruit not treated with 1-MCP at an early harvest for the entire shelf life duration. Peroxidase activity and percent change in electrical conductivity in the flesh were elevated in late-harvested fruit for the shelf life duration, whereas polyphenol oxidase activities were found to be stimulated by 1-MCP treatment, regardless of harvest time. Late-harvested fruit treated with 1-MCP exhibited increased susceptibility to flesh browning during shelf life, mostly due to reduction of the antioxidant defense mechanism of the fruits to stress in extending storage life, increasing polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity and electrolyte leakage rate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of Edible Coatings in Alleviating Shrivel and Maintaining Quality of Japanese Plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.) during Export and Shelf Life Conditions
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10071023 - 16 Jul 2020
Abstract
The effect of six edible coatings were investigated on the ability to alleviate shrivel and extend shelf life of plums. Fruit were subjected to a simulated shipping period (−0.5 ± 2 °C and 90 ± 5% relative humidity (RH)) for five weeks and [...] Read more.
The effect of six edible coatings were investigated on the ability to alleviate shrivel and extend shelf life of plums. Fruit were subjected to a simulated shipping period (−0.5 ± 2 °C and 90 ± 5% relative humidity (RH)) for five weeks and a subsequent shelf life period (20 ± 2 °C and 80 ± 5% RH) for 20 d. Overall, the study showed that it is possible to alleviate shrivel and also extend shelf life of plum (‘African Delight™’) at export and shelf life conditions. Amongst the edible coatings investigated, the findings in fruit coated with gum arabic and the commercial products were comparable and promising for postharvest preservation of the investigated plum cultivar. The coatings showed a moderate delay of fruit ripening, significantly reduced weight loss and shrivel development, allowing for the export of fruit over a long distance (five weeks) and up to 20 d of shelf life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Red Color and Fruit Quality of ‘Kent’ Mango Fruit by Pruning and Preharvest Spraying of Prohydrojasmon or Abscisic Acid
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10070944 - 01 Jul 2020
Abstract
Pre-harvest application of prohydrojasmon (PDJ) or abscisic acid (ABA) induces the red color in fruits that were exposed to sunlight at the orchard. In this large-scale work, we evaluated the effect of two different pruning techniques of ‘Kent’ mango orchards, one leading to [...] Read more.
Pre-harvest application of prohydrojasmon (PDJ) or abscisic acid (ABA) induces the red color in fruits that were exposed to sunlight at the orchard. In this large-scale work, we evaluated the effect of two different pruning techniques of ‘Kent’ mango orchards, one leading to opening the orchard canopy to expose as much fruit as possible to sunlight, while the second pruning leads to square-shaped trees and subsequently reduces the amount of sunlight reaching the fruit. These two pruning methods were combined with preharvest spraying with prohydrojasmon (PDJ) or abscisic acid (ABA) using two different types of sprayers, i.e., regular and air-jet sprayer. Pruning the canopy of the orchards to open and closed trees exposed 80% or 30% of fruits to sunlight, respectively. Both of the application with air-jet and regular sprayers effectively covered the fruit without causing fruit detachment and damage to yield. Both the phytohormones (PDJ and ABA) application treatments induced red blush skin, red intensity, anthocyanin, and flavonoids, particularly in fruit grown outside the tree canopy in both open and closed trees. PDJ and ABA treatments exhibited marginally reduced acidity than the untreated control, while the brix was not affected much by any of the treatments. Besides these, exposure to sunlight and PDJ treatment also reduced postharvest decay and increased chlorophyll degradation and yellowing in comparison to the controls. This study promoted applicative evidence about the positive effects of exposure to sunlight, prohydrojasmon (PDJ), and abscisic acid (ABA) on red color development without compromising the mango fruit’s quality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tree-Ripe Mango Fruit: Physicochemical Characterization, Antioxidant Properties and Sensory Profile of Six Mediterranean-Grown Cultivars
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060884 - 19 Jun 2020
Abstract
Some of the key components that contribute to the acceptance of high-quality fresh mangoes by consumers are its flavour, odour, texture and chemical constituents that depend mainly on level of maturity. In the European market, the demand for tree-ripened fruit has increased in [...] Read more.
Some of the key components that contribute to the acceptance of high-quality fresh mangoes by consumers are its flavour, odour, texture and chemical constituents that depend mainly on level of maturity. In the European market, the demand for tree-ripened fruit has increased in recent decades. Nevertheless, the qualitative response and the marketable characteristics of tree-ripened mango fruit grown in the Mediterranean area are not yet studied. Tree-ripened fruits of cv Keitt, Glenn, Osteen, Maya, Kensington Pride and Tommy Atkins were submitted to analytical (fruit weight, transversal diameter, longitudinal diameter, flesh firmness, total soluble solid content, titratable acidity, seed weight, peel weight, percentage of flesh and fibre, ash content, fat content, carbohydrate content, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn contents, ascorbic acid and vitamin A) and sensory evaluations. Significant differences were observed for sensory and physicochemical characteristics in a cultivar-dependent manner. The mango Keitt, in addition to its interesting physicochemical traits, content of protein and vitamin, has a higher sensory appeal. Glenn fruit showed more suitable weight, flesh firmness, soluble solids, vitamin content, total antioxidant activity and total polyphenolics content; Maya had the lowest titratable acidity and the highest soluble solid content, whereas Tommy Atkins revealed preferable ground colour, total antioxidant activity, and vitamin B2 and vitamin C contents. Tree-ripened fruits grown in the Mediterranean climate show interesting peculiarities in regard to fresh market requirements. The analytical-sensory approach established a qualitative characterization of the six observed cultivars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Controlled Atmosphere Storage Conditions on the Chemical Composition of Super Hardy Kiwifruit
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060822 - 09 Jun 2020
Abstract
Super hardy kiwifruit [Actinidia kolomikta (Maxim. & Rupr.) Maxim.] accumulate large amounts of biologically active compounds, but it is possible to store ripe fruit for a very short time, only 2 weeks at 0–5 °C. Therefore, it is necessary to determine optimal [...] Read more.
Super hardy kiwifruit [Actinidia kolomikta (Maxim. & Rupr.) Maxim.] accumulate large amounts of biologically active compounds, but it is possible to store ripe fruit for a very short time, only 2 weeks at 0–5 °C. Therefore, it is necessary to determine optimal storage conditions to prolong fruit storage time. The aim of this research was to analyse changes in the basic chemical composition of fruit during ripening in controlled atmosphere chambers. Fruit was stored for 6 weeks at a constant temperature (0 °C) and humidity (90%) in different air compositions (No. 1—21% O2, 78% N2; No. 2—0.5% O2, 98.5% N2, 1% CO2; No. 3—1.5% O2, 95.5% N2, 3% CO2; No. 4—2% O2, 93% N2, 5% CO2). The chemical composition of the fruit was determined at harvest, after 2, 4 and 6 weeks of storage. Dry matter, soluble solids, ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll and carotenoid contents were analysed. The greatest increase in the contents of dry matter and soluble solids after 6 weeks of storage was found in the chamber where O2 was 2% and CO2 was 5%. The ascorbic acid content decreased during the fruit ripening process regardless of the air composition. Most of the ascorbic acid remained in fruit stored in the chamber with 1.5% O2 and 3% CO2. The concentration of total chlorophyll and total carotenoids in the fruit increased as development progressed. The different air parameters in the storage chambers had different effects on the synthesis of pigments in fruit, but the content of pigments increased most in fruit stored in the chamber with atmospheric parameters 0.5% O2 + 1% CO2. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Harvest Season and Genotype Affect Head Quality and Shelf-Life of Ready-to-Use Broccoli
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040527 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pre-harvest climatic conditions and genotype may have important effects on head quality and post-harvest performance of fresh-cut broccoli. The present work evaluates the effect of the growing cycle (summer–autumn (SA), winter (W), winter–spring (WS), and spring (S)) and genotype on qualitative (dry matter, [...] Read more.
Pre-harvest climatic conditions and genotype may have important effects on head quality and post-harvest performance of fresh-cut broccoli. The present work evaluates the effect of the growing cycle (summer–autumn (SA), winter (W), winter–spring (WS), and spring (S)) and genotype on qualitative (dry matter, concentration of chlorophylls, carotenoids, and color) and antioxidative (ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, total phenol concentrations, and antioxidant capacity) traits of broccoli heads and minimally processed florets. The WS raw product showed the best color indices (L* = 38.6, C* = 9.3 and h° = 123.8) as well as the highest chlorophyll (0.23 µg mg−1 fresh weight) but the lowest total phenol concentration (5.5 µg mg−1 dry weight - DW), whereas the ascorbic acid level (2.3 µg mg−1 DW) was comparable to or lower than that the other growing cycles. The WS florets confirmed their best visual quality, even showing an improved total phenol level after 14 days of cold storage. The climatic conditions experienced by broccoli plants grown in SA, W, and S periods were stressful as they resulted in a slight reduction in the visual quality of the heads, though only the SA florets showed a distinctive decay during storage. The lower post-harvest performance of SA grown broccoli was confirmed in all the tested cultivars, despite ‘Naxos’ seeming more tolerant. On the contrary, the greatest content of ascorbic acid (3.2 µg mg−1 DW) in the W heads and of phenols (11.1 µg mg−1 DW) in S heads was maintained during storage, thus preserving floret color. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Wound-Healing Management on Potato Post-Harvest Storability
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040512 - 03 Apr 2020
Abstract
A critical step in profitable post-harvest potato storage management is to cure tubers at appropriate temperatures long enough for rapid wound-healing to prevent disease and defect development, but not too long to jeopardize storage quality. A two-year storage study was conducted in macro-storage [...] Read more.
A critical step in profitable post-harvest potato storage management is to cure tubers at appropriate temperatures long enough for rapid wound-healing to prevent disease and defect development, but not too long to jeopardize storage quality. A two-year storage study was conducted in macro-storage totes at the University of Wisconsin Hancock storage research facility to evaluate the effects of higher wound-healing temperatures (15.6 °C, 18.3 °C) imposed for different durations, and compare them to the U.S. potato industry’s standard practice (12.8 °C), on weight loss and frying quality of multiple processing potato varieties during long-term storage. It was found that in the experimental setting of this study, warmer wound-healing temperatures resulted in (1) less weight loss, particularly during the early storage season across varieties; (2) ameliorated senescent sweetening of the Snowden variety; (3) improved fry quality of the Russet Burbank variety; (4) and no apparent disease spread during long-term storage if tubers were harvested healthy out of fields. Overall, no significant difference was found between 15.6 °C and 18.3 °C regarding their treatment effects. Our conclusion is that compared to the current standard practice, higher wound-healing temperatures may have the potential benefits of improving potato storage quality while reducing the economic penalty associated with weight loss for specific varieties, but tubers should be healthy at harvest in order to gain the benefits. Further research is needed to test if those benefits of higher wound-healing temperatures hold true in large-scale commercial storage facilities. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Pre- and Postharvest Factors Control the Disease Incidence of Superficial Scald in the New Fire Blight Tolerant Apple Variety “Ladina”
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040464 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
Superficial scald is a physiological disorder that develops during cold storage affecting apples and causes substantial market losses. Malus × domestica cv. Ladina, a new scab resistant and fire blight tolerant variety, commercialized in 2012, shows a physiological disorder similar to superficial scald [...] Read more.
Superficial scald is a physiological disorder that develops during cold storage affecting apples and causes substantial market losses. Malus × domestica cv. Ladina, a new scab resistant and fire blight tolerant variety, commercialized in 2012, shows a physiological disorder similar to superficial scald after storage. Here, we used different pre- and postharvest approaches to characterize the occurrence of these superficial scald symptoms in Malus × domestica cv. Ladina. Over a period of seven years, fruits from multiple orchards were stored for five to seven months and the occurrence of superficial scald was assessed in fruits after cold storage and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. Apples picked at different stages of ripeness within the same year differed in superficial scald development. Additionally, superficial scald differed significantly between years and locations, strongly suggesting that maturity at harvest, weather during the growing season, and orchard management play important roles in scald occurrence. Treatment with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) after harvest, and storage in a dynamically controlled atmosphere (DCA) significantly reduced the occurrence of superficial scald, whereas storage under ultralow oxygen concentrations (ULO) showed mild but not significant effects. Low calcium concentrations in the fruit flesh and peel were associated with stronger superficial scald occurrence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Pre-Harvest Factors on Postharvest Quality of Fresh-Cut and Baby Leafy Vegetables
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020172 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Shelf life of horticultural commodities is dependent on postharvest handling but also on a wide range of pre-harvest factors, which include genetic and environmental parameters. This study was conducted to explore the influence of cultivar, leaf position, and piece position on the leaf [...] Read more.
Shelf life of horticultural commodities is dependent on postharvest handling but also on a wide range of pre-harvest factors, which include genetic and environmental parameters. This study was conducted to explore the influence of cultivar, leaf position, and piece position on the leaf on visual quality of fresh-cut butterhead lettuce as well as the effect of a wide range of cultivation seasons on the postharvest quality and shelf life of baby leaves (spinach and ‘wild’ rocket). Six butterhead lettuce cultivars were used (cultivated soilless in an unheated plastic greenhouse) while the effect of leaf position on the plant (outer and inner leaves) and the piece position on the leaf (piece one close to the leaf base and piece four close to the top) were also evaluated. Baby leaves were cultivated under an unheated plastic greenhouse for winter production and under a nethouse for the rest of the growing season, with a total of five and seven sampling dates for spinach and ‘wild’ rocket respectively. The cultivar of butterhead lettuce had a significant effect on postharvest quality of fresh-cut product but more important was the piece position on the leaf. When this was closer to the base of the leaf, there was more browning on cut edges and limited shelf life for the fresh-cut lettuce. The result was associated in one tested cultivar with PAL activity, which was higher by 106% for piece one compared to piece four as an average for the whole storage period. The growing season of baby leaves had a great impact on their shelf life, with the season of mild environmental conditions achieving the highest marketability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Salicylic Acid and Putrescine to Reduce Post-Harvest Storage Problems and Maintain Quality of Murcott Mandarin Fruit
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010115 - 13 Jan 2020
Abstract
Natural products have been used to improve citrus fruit quality and storability, which increase the fruit marketing period and exportation to distant markets. This study was conducted to evaluate the role of salicylic acid and putrescine on reducing post-harvest loss and maintaining the [...] Read more.
Natural products have been used to improve citrus fruit quality and storability, which increase the fruit marketing period and exportation to distant markets. This study was conducted to evaluate the role of salicylic acid and putrescine on reducing post-harvest loss and maintaining the quality of stored Murcott mandarin. Fruit were harvested at 297–300 days from full bloom, and five 5-min dipping treatments were applied; salicylic acid (200 and 400 ppm), putrescine (50 and 100 ppm), and the control. One group of fruit was stored at 5 ± 1 °C and 90–95% relative humidity (RH), and the other group was stored at 23 ± 1 °C and 60–70% RH for 45 days. Quality attributes were recorded at harvest, 15, 30, and 45 days of storage. Weight loss and decay were significantly decreased with the application of salicylic acid and putrescine. Both materials were also effective maintaining fruit firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), acidity, TSS: acid ratio, and ascorbic acid during storage. Salicylic acid, especially at 400 ppm was more effective to reduce weight loss and decay, and to maintain fruit quality in comparison to putrescine treatments. It could be concluded that salicylic acid and putrescine are effectively delaying post-harvest deterioration rate and extending the storage period of Murcott mandarin fruit with acceptable quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of ULO and NA Storage on Changes in the Quality of Apple Fruit (Malus domestica Borkh.) during Shelf Life
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010025 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In order to preserve the quality of apple fruit, it is crucial to choose the most suitable storage technology. Nevertheless, it is also important to maintain the quality of apples during the shelf life period. In this study, changes in various biochemical quality [...] Read more.
In order to preserve the quality of apple fruit, it is crucial to choose the most suitable storage technology. Nevertheless, it is also important to maintain the quality of apples during the shelf life period. In this study, changes in various biochemical quality parameters of ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Idared’ apples during a prolonged shelf life period, after conventional normal atmosphere (NA) and ultra-low oxygen (ULO) storage, were investigated. After the harvest, the fruit of examined cultivars were stored in two atmospheres for six months. Weight loss, changes in content of sugars, organic acids, total phenols, total flavonoids, pectic fractions, and antioxidant capacity were monitored. Samples were evaluated immediately after removal from the cold chambers and after 10 and 20 days of shelf life at 20 °C. ‘Golden Delicious’ apples stored in ULO exhibited better qualitative characteristics during 20 days of shelf life compared with apples of the same cultivar stored in NA. However, evaluated traits in ‘Idared’ apples from NA chambers were of higher quality in comparison with ‘Idared’ apples stored in the ULO atmosphere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Residual Distribution Kinetics of Pesticides in Cherry Tomato Peel, Pulp, and Fruit as a Function of Irrigation Water Salinity, Household Rinsing, and Storage Regimen
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120800 - 24 Nov 2019
Abstract
The increased demand of high quantity and quality of cherry tomatoes requires the application of a wide range of pre-harvest pesticides. The application of dozens of pre-harvest pesticides frequently results in multiple pesticide residues, to which the end consumer is exposed. Incorrect usage [...] Read more.
The increased demand of high quantity and quality of cherry tomatoes requires the application of a wide range of pre-harvest pesticides. The application of dozens of pre-harvest pesticides frequently results in multiple pesticide residues, to which the end consumer is exposed. Incorrect usage of these pesticides may result in hazardous food contamination and therefore, it is crucial to monitor pesticide residues in pre- and post-marketed agricultural commodities. Hence, the objectives of the present study were to characterize the distribution and residual levels of pre-harvest pesticides applied on cherry tomatoes, as a function of regulated storage conditions, irrigation water salinity levels, and tap water rinsing. The fruits were grown in a greenhouse and were designated for the local and international markets. The residual pesticide levels allowed us to perform a dietary risk assessment for the consumption of contaminated tomatoes. Tetraconazole was the only pesticide residue, exceeding the maximal residue limit (MRL) value of 50 µg/kg in the fruits after 5 days of storage time. Since tetraconazole was shown to potentially impair reproduction and fetal development, it is suggested that the last application of this pesticide would be restricted to not less than 56 days before harvest. The extent of pesticide peel penetrability as well as the pesticide distribution and residual levels in the peel and pulp were unaffected by the salinity level (electrical conductivity 1.5–3 ds/m) of the irrigation water. The most commonly applied household washing procedure for fruit and vegetables, using running tap water for 30 s, was ineffective in removing residual pesticides from the peel. Hence, more efficient washing procedures are required to improve consumers’ safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sage Essential Oil Improves the Effectiveness of Aloe vera Gel on Postharvest Quality of Tomato Fruit
Agronomy 2019, 9(10), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9100635 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Edible coating is extensively applied for fresh produce preservation. In the present study, Aloe vera gel (AV) alone or combined with sage essential oil (EO; 0.1% or 0.5%) was used as fruit edible coating in tomatoes. Following treatments, tomatoes were stored at 11 [...] Read more.
Edible coating is extensively applied for fresh produce preservation. In the present study, Aloe vera gel (AV) alone or combined with sage essential oil (EO; 0.1% or 0.5%) was used as fruit edible coating in tomatoes. Following treatments, tomatoes were stored at 11 °C and 90% relative humidity (RH) up to 14 days and analyzed for quality maintenance compared with uncoated fruits (control). Results showed that both AV and EO decreased decay symptoms with more pronounced effects on low EO concentration (i.e., 0.1%). The application of 10% of AV coating decreased fruit ethylene emission while EO (0.1% and 0.5%) application increased ethylene emission and respiration rates. AV coating decreased acidity, β-carotene, lycopene content and maintained fruit firmness. High levels of EO (0.5%) increased weight loss but decreased fruits’ redness, chroma, total soluble solids, acidity, β-carotene and lycopene content. Total phenolic content and antioxidants maintained or increased during storage when treated with AV and/or EO. Low levels of EO (0.1%) maintained or improved fruit quality characteristics during storage, and this was mirrored by the sensory evaluation preference (including the AV application) and quality related attributes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Relationships between Rootstock-Scion Combinations and Growing Regions on Watermelon Fruit Quality
Agronomy 2019, 9(9), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9090536 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Grafting of vegetable plants is done primarily to reduce the potential for damage caused by soil-borne diseases. Most of the watermelons (Citrullus) grown in the Mediterranean Basin, including in Israel, are grafted, mainly on interspecific hybrid pumpkin (Cucurbita) rootstocks. [...] Read more.
Grafting of vegetable plants is done primarily to reduce the potential for damage caused by soil-borne diseases. Most of the watermelons (Citrullus) grown in the Mediterranean Basin, including in Israel, are grafted, mainly on interspecific hybrid pumpkin (Cucurbita) rootstocks. Biblical law (Leviticus 19:19) does not allow intergeneric grafting, so in recent years, great efforts have been made in Israel to find or breed watermelon rootstocks. Both interspecific and intergeneric grafting can have negative or positive effects on fruit yield and quality after harvest. The inconsistencies in fruit quality and shelf-life parameters can be attributed to differences in production environments. However, many farmers are grafting and planting the same rootstock-scion combination all over the country, regardless of local soil, water, and climactic conditions. We studied the effect of similar rootstock-scion combinations on watermelon yield and fruit quality in three regions of Israel differing in soil type and altitude. Fruit-quality parameters were evaluated after 4 days at 21 °C (local marketing simulation). Fruit quality was significantly affected, mainly by the growing region, based on factorial analysis, but also by rootstock-scion combination, regardless of rootstock vigor. Therefore, the best rootstock-scion combination needs to be found and adopted for each growing region. Grafting was essential for watermelon crop survival in contaminated soils and improved both plant performance and postharvest fruit quality, but was not a factor in non-contaminated soils. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of Two Types of Antioxidant Compounds (TPC and TA) from Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa L.): Optimization of the Individual and Simultaneous Extraction Methods
Agronomy 2019, 9(8), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9080456 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa L.) contains a large number of bioactive compounds, which make of it a highly nutritional and antioxidant food with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been recently seen its consumption increased because of its interesting composition and properties as [...] Read more.
Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa L.) contains a large number of bioactive compounds, which make of it a highly nutritional and antioxidant food with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been recently seen its consumption increased because of its interesting composition and properties as a functional food. The ultrasound-assisted extraction method has been optimized, since it is a simple and fast technique to extract phenolic compounds, as well as anthocyanins, not only separately but also simultaneously. Multiple response has been optimized and demonstrated an effectiveness level similar to the individual ones. This represents a considerable reduction in costs, time and work. The optimal conditions for simultaneous extractions were: 54% methanol as extraction solvent at pH 2.72 and 69.4 °C temperature, 70% amplitude, 0.7 s cycle, and 0.5:18.2 g:mL sample mass/solvent volume ratio. The developed methods showed a high precision level with coefficients of variation lower than 5%. The methods were successfully applied to commercial samples. Additionally, the extraction of other compounds of biological interest, such as organic acids and sugars, was also studied. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Extension of Avocado Fruit Postharvest Quality Using Non-Chemical Treatments
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020212 - 02 Feb 2020
Abstract
Developing postharvest management techniques using environmentally friendly and non-chemical approaches is key to extending the shelf life of avocados in a safer and health conscious manner. Avocados are prone to postharvest deterioration caused by mechanical damage, chilling injury, soft landing, uneven ripening and [...] Read more.
Developing postharvest management techniques using environmentally friendly and non-chemical approaches is key to extending the shelf life of avocados in a safer and health conscious manner. Avocados are prone to postharvest deterioration caused by mechanical damage, chilling injury, soft landing, uneven ripening and decay. Among the different cultivars of avocados commercially grown worldwide, the ‘Hass’ variety continues to be the most predominant due to its nutty flavour and functional properties. Most of the literature on postharvest decay and disorders affecting avocado fruit quality during storage and marketing is dedicated to the Hass avocado. Some of these postharvest problems are unique to the ‘Hass’ avocado can possibly be controlled by simply investing more research into other cultivars. These postharvest losses can be significantly controlled using eco-friendly technologies, such as modified atmosphere, physical heat treatments and most importantly investing in natural biodegradable products with naturally inherent antimicrobial properties. Thus, this review includes the recent research-based information on the use of non-chemical treatments on the improvement of fruit health and quality. Full article
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