Antioxidant, antibacterial capacity and antioxidant enzyme activities of date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L. 'Khesab')
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is one of the most important fruit trees grown in arid and semi-arid regions. Despite the immense capabilities of date palm, maintaining the fruit’s quality, marketability, and shelf life remains a challenge. Chemical treatments control some diseases but they can be harmful for the environment. Our goal was to find a safe, natural, effective, economical disease treatment. This study aimed to assess the synergistic effect of a preharvest spray application of natural elicitor chitosan (Ch) 1% alone and in combination with salicylic acid (SA) 2 mM and calcium chloride (Ca) 3% (Ch, SA, Ca, Ch+Ca, Ch+SA, Ch+SA+Ca) on the quality parameters, storage life, and bioactive compounds content of date fruit from ‘Khasab’ cultivar during cold storage for 60 days. The results revealed that all treatments significantly retarded senescence/decay of the fruit compared to the control. Ch+SA treated fruit followed by Ch and Ch+SA+Ca had the lowest weight loss, colour change, and the least decay after 60 days of storage. Ch+Ca, SA and Ca treated fruit had significantly lower levels of total soluble solids and higher total phenolic, tannins, and flavonoids content compared to the control fruit. Antioxidant activities were found in all treatments, with significantly higher effect in Ch+SA+Ca and Ch+SA compared to the control. Our results provide evidence for a synergistic effect of a combination of elicitors to extend the shelf life of date fruit during cold storage by preserving its quality and decreasing senescence/decay. We recommend it as a promising strategy.
Shamsa Alblooshi won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation at the VII International Date Palm Conference in the United Arab Emirates in March 2022.
Shamsa Alblooshi, University Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Tawam, United Arab Emirates, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae