PREHARVEST APPLICATION OF ALOE VERA GEL EXHIBITS ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY BY REDUCING YEAST, MOULD, AND AEROBIC COUNTS AT HARVEST IN SEVERAL PRUNUS SPP.
Stone fruits including sweet cherry, peach and nectarine, are highly appreciated by consumers due to their excellent organoleptic quality but they are perishable produce after harvest and thus, their shelf life is reduced. One of the main problems leading to deterioration and quality losses is occurrence of fungal decay. The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of preharvest treatments with two Aloe vera gels, one commercial and one home-made and freshly prepared on stone fruits: sweet cherry (Prime Giant and Skeena), peach (Rich Lady) and nectarine (Garrofa). Treatments were applied one day (T1) before harvest and 1 and 7 days (T2) before picking the fruit. Fruit were picked at commercial ripening stage and quality parameters (firmness, colour, acidity, soluble solids and respiration rate) and microbial counts were determined. Results showed that treatment did not significantly modify the fruit quality, but microbial counts were significantly reduced, especially in the sweet cherry cultivars, for which 2-log reduction was obtained as compared to the controls, while for nectarine and peach, 1-log reduction was obtained. With these results, we can conclude that Aloe vera gel applied at preharvest treatment could be a good alternative to the use of synthetic fungicides for controlling fruit spoilage in stone fruits.
Zapata, P.J., Guillén, F., Castillo, S., Martínez-Romero, D., Valero, D. and Serrano, M. (2013). PREHARVEST APPLICATION OF ALOE VERA GEL EXHIBITS ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY BY REDUCING YEAST, MOULD, AND AEROBIC COUNTS AT HARVEST IN SEVERAL PRUNUS SPP. . Acta Hortic. 1012, 121-126
nectarine, sweet cherry, peach, ripening, respiration