Maintenance of sweet cherry quality attributes as affected by innovative postharvest treatments

D. Valero
The sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) horticultural production chain consists of several parts: production, picking, cooling, selection, grading, packaging, transport, distribution and consumption. From the consumer point of view, storage quality is probably the most important factor affecting eating quality, especially for overseas marketing. Sweet cherry fruit is a very perishable commodity, since both the edible part and the stem loose water rapidly as well as decay incidence, which constitutes the main problem for successful transport and marketing. The concept of “quality” depends on the product itself and the consumer's preferences, and for sweet cherry it is widely accepted that the main characteristics related to fruit quality are fruit weight, colour, firmness, sweetness, sourness, flavour and aroma. For this reason producers use a number of parameters to establish the optimum time for harvesting, the most reliable being skin colour. Red colour development in sweet cherry is used as indicator of quality and ripening, and is due to accumulation and profile of anthocyanins. However, these quality parameters change during postharvest storage leading to reduced shelf life. In this work the current knowledge about some innovative postharvest treatments with the aim to reduce the postharvest quality losses is shown. These treatments include the use of dip treatments (oxalic acid, salicylic acid, acetyl salicylic acid), edible coatings (alginate and Aloe vera gel), and active packaging (modified atmosphere packaging in combination with essential oils).
Valero, D. (2017). Maintenance of sweet cherry quality attributes as affected by innovative postharvest treatments. Acta Hortic. 1161, 475-482
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1161.76
oxalic acid, salicylic acid, acetyl salicylic acid, alginate, Aloe vera, MAP, cherry quality, bioactive compounds, postharvest treatments, natural compounds

Acta Horticulturae