Advances in Post-harvest Preservation and Quality of Fruits and Vegetables—Volume II

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Packaging and Preservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 October 2024 | Viewed by 9046

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Biology & Geology, Higher Engineering School, University of Almería, E-04120 Almería, Spain
Interests: fruit quality; postharvest physiology; plant physiology; postharvest technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The main challenge facing many agricultural regions is to offer high quality fresh fruits and vegetables to increasingly competitive markets. At the same time, they must contribute to sustainable production by reducing post-harvest losses and extending the shelf life of fresh produce. This challenge can only be addressed from the perspective of post-harvest physiology and technology, which provides the necessary knowledge to offer innovations and technologies that help preserve fruit and vegetable products, maintain their quality, and reduce losses and wastage. The interest in applying the latest technologies and in deepening the knowledge of post-harvest physiology is growing because of the conviction that only a scientific approach can provide the necessary solutions for an increasingly competitive and exigent world. The ultimate goal of post-harvest physiology and technologies is that fruits and vegetables reach new markets when they are of an adequate quality and they bring about a reduction in post-harvest losses. Today, this goal is achievable if there is an effective transfer of knowledge to the productive sector; therefore, the objective of this Special Issue is to cover recent advances in maintaining the quality of horticultural products. We invite the submission of original research manuscripts and review articles focusing on Advances in Post-harvest Preservation and Quality of Fruits and Vegetables.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Pre-harvest and post-harvest treatments that improve the quality of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Improvement of fruit and vegetable quality and reduction in losses and waste by means of emerging technologies.
  3. Physiology and technology of fresh produce and fresh cut produce.
  4. Methodologies to evaluate the quality of fruits and vegetables.
  5. Quality changes in fruits and vegetables during handling, processing, and cold storage.
  6. Ethylene management and control with a focus on maintaining fruitquality.
  7. Losses and waste during handling, processing, storage and transport, and trading of fruit and vegetables.

Prof. Dr. Juan Luis Valenzuela
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2900 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

  • post-harvest physiology pathology and technology
  • emerging technologies
  • ethylene control and management
  • post-harvest losses and wastes
  • fresh cut products
  • quality assessment methods
  • quality changes during handling, cold storage, and marketing

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 1893 KiB  
Article
Post-Harvest Behavior of Seedless Conical and Mini-Conical Peppers: Weight Loss, Dry Matter Content, and Total Soluble Solids as Indicators of Quality and Commercial Shelf-Life
by Manuel Díaz-Pérez, José Javier Hernández-García, Ángel Carreño-Ortega and Borja Velázquez Martí
Foods 2024, 13(12), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13121889 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 257
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the post-harvest dynamics of seedless conical and mini-conical pepper cultivars in terms of fruit weight loss, dry matter content, and soluble solid content. The above parameters were demonstrated to be effective commercial pepper shelf-life indicators. The commercial quality [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the post-harvest dynamics of seedless conical and mini-conical pepper cultivars in terms of fruit weight loss, dry matter content, and soluble solid content. The above parameters were demonstrated to be effective commercial pepper shelf-life indicators. The commercial quality of pepper fruit intended for export was evaluated weekly under simulated fruit storage conditions for over 28 d. Results revealed that fruit weight loss, dry matter content, and soluble solid content were affected by cultivar type and storage duration. Additionally, a strong correlation between these variables was observed confirming their linear relationship which was more profound between dry matter and total soluble solid content. Daily changes during storage were similar in both seedless conical and mini-conical peppers, while the fruit weight loss daily rate was greater than that of dry matter. Water loss was identified to be the main factor causing reduced fruit quality. Solid content reduction occurred predominately during the initial storage period. Notably, fruit with lower dry matter content at harvest tended to maintain their commercial quality for a longer time due to their ability to resist water loss without any visible signs of deterioration, which is beneficial during prolonged storage. Full article
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16 pages, 7825 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Combined Treatment of Trans-2-Hexenal, Ascorbic Acid, and Dimethyl Dicarbonate on the Quality in Fresh-Cut Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) during Storage
by Yu Liu, Jiayi Zhang, Yaqin Zhao, Yinqiu Bao, Zhengguo Wu, Yonghua Zheng and Peng Jin
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13101526 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Fresh-cut potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) are susceptible to browning and microbial contamination during storage. In this study, the effects of trans-2-hexenal (E2H), ascorbic acid (VC), dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC), and the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC on quality deterioration in fresh-cut [...] Read more.
Fresh-cut potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) are susceptible to browning and microbial contamination during storage. In this study, the effects of trans-2-hexenal (E2H), ascorbic acid (VC), dimethyl dicarbonate (DMDC), and the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC on quality deterioration in fresh-cut potatoes were investigated. The response surface methodology (RSM) demonstrated that E2H, VC, and DMDC concentrations of 0.010%, 0.65%, and 240 mg/L, respectively, were the optimum conditions for fresh-cut potato preservation. Further analysis showed that the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC was the most effective method of reducing quality deterioration in potatoes compared to the control and individual treatments. Furthermore, the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC could decrease the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via improving antioxidant enzyme activities. Meanwhile, energy-metabolism-related enzyme activities and glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) activity were enhanced, while γ-aminobutyric acid transaminase (GABA-T) activity was reduced via the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC, which contributed to maintaining high energy levels and GABA content in potatoes. These findings suggested that the combined treatment of E2H, VC, and DMDC could protect membrane integrity through enhancing antioxidant capacity, energy levels, and GABA content to maintain quality in fresh-cut potatoes. Full article
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13 pages, 1947 KiB  
Article
Effect of Cysteine with Essential Oils on Quality Attributes and Functional Properties of ‘Blanca de Tudela’ Fresh-Cut Artichoke
by María J. Giménez, Marina Giménez-Berenguer, Fabián Guillén, Vicente Serna-Escolano, María Gutiérrez-Pozo and Pedro J. Zapata
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4414; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244414 - 8 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
The commercialisation of fresh-cut artichokes with optimal quality and appearance and a maximum shelf-life is a great challenge for the artichoke market. The use of different anti-browning agents has been previously studied; however, their effect is still limited. Therefore, the objective of this [...] Read more.
The commercialisation of fresh-cut artichokes with optimal quality and appearance and a maximum shelf-life is a great challenge for the artichoke market. The use of different anti-browning agents has been previously studied; however, their effect is still limited. Therefore, the objective of this study is the evaluation of the effect of L-cysteine and, in combination with a mixture of essential oils components (eugenol, thymol and carvacrol) on browning, quality and bioactive compounds of fresh-cut artichokes stored for 9 days at 2 °C. Four different treatments were applied to ‘Blanca de Tudela’ fresh-cut artichokes: cysteine and cysteine with 75, 150 and 300 µL of the essential oils components (EOs) mixture. After 2, 4 and 9 days of storage, physicochemical parameters (weight loss, colour, respiration rate) and functional (total phenolic content, antioxidant activity) were studied. A descriptive sensorial analysis was also carried out to evaluate sensory attributes. Results showed that the application of cysteine and 150 µL of EOs displayed the lowest browning and highest antioxidant properties, as well as the best quality and sensory parameters. The use of this post-harvest treatment on fresh-cut artichokes would result in a natural and eco-friendly solution to improve artichoke quality and shelf-life. Full article
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33 pages, 7428 KiB  
Article
Impact of Modified Atmosphere Packaging Conditions on Quality of Dates: Experimental Study and Predictive Analysis Using Artificial Neural Networks
by Abdelrahman R. Ahmed, Salah M. Aleid and Maged Mohammed
Foods 2023, 12(20), 3811; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12203811 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1764
Abstract
Dates are highly perishable fruits, and maintaining their quality during storage is crucial. The current study aims to investigate the impact of storage conditions on the quality of dates (Khalas and Sukary cultivars) at the Tamer stage and predict their quality attributes during [...] Read more.
Dates are highly perishable fruits, and maintaining their quality during storage is crucial. The current study aims to investigate the impact of storage conditions on the quality of dates (Khalas and Sukary cultivars) at the Tamer stage and predict their quality attributes during storage using artificial neural networks (ANN). The studied storage conditions were the modified atmosphere packing (MAP) gases (CO2, O2, and N), packaging materials, storage temperature, and storage time, and the evaluated quality attributes were moisture content, firmness, color parameters (L*, a*, b*, and ∆E), pH, water activity, total soluble solids, and microbial contamination. The findings demonstrated that the storage conditions significantly impacted (p < 0.05) the quality of the two stored date cultivars. The use of MAP with 20% CO2 + 80% N had a high potential to decrease the rate of color transformation and microbial growth of dates stored at 4 °C for both stored date cultivars. The developed ANN models efficiently predicted the quality changes of stored dates closely aligned with observed values under the different storage conditions, as evidenced by low Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) values. In addition, the reliability of the developed ANN models was further affirmed by the linear regression between predicted and measured values, which closely follow the 1:1 line, with R2 values ranging from 0.766 to 0.980, the ANN models demonstrate accurate estimating of fruit quality attributes. The study’s findings contribute to food quality and supply chain management through the identification of optimal storage conditions and predicting the fruit quality during storage under different atmosphere conditions, thereby minimizing food waste and enhancing food safety. Full article
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15 pages, 2905 KiB  
Article
Applicability and Freshness Control of pH-Sensitive Intelligent Label in Cool Chain Transportation of Vegetables
by Tianlin Feng, Huizhi Chen and Min Zhang
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3489; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183489 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Freshness is one of the main factors affecting consumers’ purchase of food. The freshness indicator labels of packaged fresh green bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and greengrocery (Brassica chinensis L.) were constructed, and pH-sensitive indicator labels based on the dye of [...] Read more.
Freshness is one of the main factors affecting consumers’ purchase of food. The freshness indicator labels of packaged fresh green bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and greengrocery (Brassica chinensis L.) were constructed, and pH-sensitive indicator labels based on the dye of anthocyanin and the mixing dye of methyl red and bromothymol blue were prepared in this study. At the same time, the color, chlorophyll content and vitamin C content of vegetables were measured in order to explore the applicability of indicator labels in the cool chain transportation of vegetables. Compared with the nature dye, the chemical dye-type indicator labels are more sensitive to pH changes. The results showed that the mixed indicator intelligent label had the best indication effect, and the MB 2 (mixing 1 g/L methyl red and bromothymol blue solutions at a ratio of 3:2 with a concentration of 70 mL/L in indicator film solution) indicator label could effectively indicate the freshness changes in vegetables during storage. Meanwhile, the color changes of the MB 2-type indicator label were correlated with the colors change of the sample, changes in nutrients, and changes in CO2 content inside the packaging. In addition, freshness detection models for green bell pepper and greengrocery by using color information of MB 2 intelligent labels were established. Hence, this pH-sensitive label can be applied as a promising intelligent packaging for non-destructively monitoring the freshness of respiratory and non-respiratory climacteric vegetables. Full article
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21 pages, 4792 KiB  
Article
Effects of Reactive Oxygen Levels on Chilling Injury and Storability in 21 Apricot Varieties from Different Production Areas in China
by Qi Xin, Xinqun Zhou, Weibo Jiang, Min Zhang, Jing Sun, Kuanbo Cui, Yu Liu, Wenxiao Jiao, Handong Zhao and Bangdi Liu
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122378 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
The key factors for resistance to chilling injury in apricot fruits were obtained by analyzing the low-temperature storage characteristics of 21 varieties of apricot fruits in the main producing areas of China. Twenty-one varieties of apricots from different production areas in China were [...] Read more.
The key factors for resistance to chilling injury in apricot fruits were obtained by analyzing the low-temperature storage characteristics of 21 varieties of apricot fruits in the main producing areas of China. Twenty-one varieties of apricots from different production areas in China were stored at 0 °C for 50 d and then shelved at 25 °C. The storage quality, chilling injury, reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidant ability, and contents of bioactive substances of the apricots were measured and analyzed. The results showed that the 21 varieties of apricot fruits could be divided into two categories according to tolerance during low-temperature storage, where there was chilling tolerance and lack of chilling tolerance. Eleven varieties of apricots, of which Xiangbai and Yunbai are representative, suffered from severe chilling injury after cold storage and shelf life. After 50 d of storage at 0 °C, the levels of superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide accumulated in the 11 varieties of apricots with a lack of chilling tolerance during storage were significantly higher than those in the remaining 10 varieties of apricots with chilling tolerance. In addition, the activities of ROS scavenging enzymes, represented by superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase, were significantly decreased in 11 varieties of apricots with a lack of chilling tolerance during storage. The contents of bioactive substances with ROS scavenging ability, represented by ascorbic acid, total phenols, carotenoids, and total flavonoids, also significantly decreased. The 10 varieties of apricots, of which Akeximixi and Suanmao are representative, were less affected by chilling injury because the production and removal of ROS were maintained at normal levels, avoiding the damaging effects of ROS accumulation in the fruit. In addition, the 10 apricot varieties with chilling tolerance during storage had higher sugar and acid contents after harvest. This could supply energy for physiological metabolism during cold storage and provide carbon skeletons for secondary metabolism, thus enhancing the chilling tolerance of the fruits. Based on the results of cluster analysis combined with the geographical distribution of the 21 fruit varieties, it was found that apricot varieties with chilling tolerance during storage were all from the northwestern region of China where diurnal temperature differences and rapid climate changes occur. In conclusion, maintaining the balance of ROS production and removal in apricots during cold storage is a key factor to enhance the storage tolerance of apricots. Moreover, apricots with higher initial glycolic acid and bioactive substance contents are less susceptible to chilling injury. Full article
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17 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
Storability and Linear Regression Models of Pericarp Browning and Decay in Fifty Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) Cultivars at Room Temperature Storage
by Kan Huang, Danwen Fu, Yonghua Jiang, Hailun Liu, Fachao Shi, Yingjie Wen, Changhe Cai, Jiezhen Chen, Liangxi Ou and Qian Yan
Foods 2023, 12(8), 1725; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12081725 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The primary cause for the limited shelf life of litchi fruit is rapid pericarp browning and decay. This study aims to evaluate the storability of 50 litchi varieties and establish a linear regression model for pericarp browning and decay based on 11 postharvest [...] Read more.
The primary cause for the limited shelf life of litchi fruit is rapid pericarp browning and decay. This study aims to evaluate the storability of 50 litchi varieties and establish a linear regression model for pericarp browning and decay based on 11 postharvest physical and chemical indices after 9 days of storage at room temperature. The results indicated that the average value of the browning index and decay rate significantly increased to 3.29% and 63.84% of 50 litchi varieties at day 9, respectively. Different litchi varieties showed different variations in appearance indicators, quality indicators, and physiological indicators. Furthermore, principal component analysis and cluster analysis revealed that Liu Li 2 Hao exhibited the highest resistance to storage, whereas Dong Long Mi Li, Jiao Pan Li, E Dan Li 2 Hao, and Ren Shan Li were not resistant. Stepwise multiple regression analysis further demonstrated that the factors were highly correlated with the decay index, with a partial correlation coefficient of 0.437 between the effective index and the decay index. Therefore, pericarp thickness, relative conductivity, pericarp laccase activity, and total soluble solids were significant indicators for the comprehensive evaluation of litchi browning and decay, and relative conductivity was the significant determinant causing fruit browning. These findings provide a new perspective on the sustainable development of the litchi industry. Full article
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