UV-C light to reduce decay and improve quality of stored fruit and vegetables: a short review
New and expanding trends in food and agriculture for chemical-free techniques have prompted research for alternative means to control postharvest decay of fruit and vegetables. Among the alternative means, ultraviolet-C light (UV-C, 190-280 nm) resulted one of the most attractive. Illumination with UV-C light has been reported to increase the content of health-promoting compounds in several crops, increasing the nutritional value of several commodities. The use of UV-C light, applied at low doses and at 254 nm, determines also a reduction of storage rot incidence. These reductions have been attributed to induced resistance effects. With appropriate exposure time, UV-C light can cause weak stress responses, acting as an abiotic elicitor that triggers the defense response in several plant species. These processes involve the expression of numerous resistance-related genes, among which the role key enzymes in phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathway, chitinases, glucanases, and other pathogenesis-related proteins has been ascertained. The availability of reliable and more sensitive molecular techniques, (e.g., Next Generation Sequencing, Microarray, real time PCR, etc.) greatly improves the identification and characterization of UV-C regulated genes and pathways, contributing to a better understanding of the induced resistance mechanisms and quality improvement in harvested commodities.
Nigro, F. and Ippolito, A. (2016). UV-C light to reduce decay and improve quality of stored fruit and vegetables: a short review. Acta Hortic. 1144, 293-298
ultraviolet light, postharvest decay, induced resistance, nutritional quality