Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grape preservation: New treatment combination safe alternative to sulfur dioxide

Date:
April 25, 2010
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
To keep table grapes fresh and increase shelf life, scientists are seeking advanced techniques that provide healthy, safe alternatives to conventional packing methods. Researchers have developed and tested an effective new technique that combines hot water treatment, rachis removal and modified atmosphere packaging (MA) to extend the shelf life of table grapes.

These are commercially packed cluster grapes showing typical decay after four months.
Credit: Photo by Liping Kou

Packaged fresh-cut grapes are becoming increasingly popular with consumers who like the convenience and health benefits of these ready-to-eat fruits. To keep table grapes fresh and increase shelf life, scientists are seeking advanced techniques that provide healthy, safe alternatives to conventional packing methods. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) have developed and tested an effective new technique that combines hot water treatment, rachis removal, and modified atmosphere packaging (MA) to extend the shelf life of table grapes.

Commercially packaged table grapes stored in clusters in perforated packaging have a short shelf life -- typically 8 to 10 weeks -- as a result of their exposure to the environment. Grape shelf life is often shortened by factors including fruit weight loss, stem browning, softening, shattering, and decay. Because of its effectiveness in delaying stem browning and decay, sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) is currently the treatment of choice in many countries for prolonging shelf life of grapes. There are disadvantages to sulfur dioxide use, however. The concentration of SO2 necessary to inhibit fungal growth may induce injuries in grape fruits and stems, and sulfite residues pose a health risk for some individuals. Applications of SO2 have been restricted in many countries, making it essential to identify safe, alternative technologies that effectively control fungal growth and assure high-quality fruit.

Yaguang Luo and William Conway from the USDS ARS, in collaboration with Liping Kou, Wu Ding, and Xinghua Liu from China's Northwest A&F University, recently published a report in HortScience that explored alternatives to sulfur dioxide for maintaining quality of table grapes, including various combinations of rachis removal, chlorinated wash, hot water treatment, and modified atmosphere packaging.

Grapes were prepared by cutting off the rachis 1 to 2 mm from the fruit or by keeping the clusters intact. After initial preparation, short-stem and cluster grapes were subjected to chlorinated wash and/or hot water (45ēC for 8 minutes) treatment and packaged in plastic trays sealed with a gas-permeable film. The treated grapes, as well as the commercially packed grapes in their original packages, were stored at 5ēC for up to 4 weeks.

According to the Kou, a visiting scientist from China and the study's lead researcher, the hot water treatment resulted in significantly higher oxygen retention and lower carbon dioxide accumulation in packages, firmer texture, higher overall visual quality, lower decay rate, and lower microbial populations than other treatments or commercially packed grapes. Grapes that were cut from the rachis and treated with hot water and chlorine maintained the highest quality for 4 weeks, with the least decay among all treatments. A chlorine prewash treatment significantly reduced microbial populations on cluster grapes and maintained better overall quality.

Kou concluded that "the combination of these treatments maintained excellent visual quality throughout the entire storage duration, whereas the commercially packaged grapes became decayed and their quality declined to a level that was unacceptable. The combination treatment was successful in reducing spoilage microbes, preventing dehydration, and delaying softening and senescence of grapes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kou, Liping, Luo, Yaguang, Ding, Wu, Liu, Xinghua, Conway, William. Hot Water Treatment in Combination with Rachis Removal and Modified Atmosphere Packaging Maintains Quality of Table Grapes. HortScience, 2009; 44: 1947-1952 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Grape preservation: New treatment combination safe alternative to sulfur dioxide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415171411.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2010, April 25). Grape preservation: New treatment combination safe alternative to sulfur dioxide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415171411.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Grape preservation: New treatment combination safe alternative to sulfur dioxide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415171411.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) — An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins