banner
© Lunghammer – TU Graz
© Lunghammer – TU Graz

Fruits and vegetables pack lots of nutrition. But more than half of the produce harvested never makes it to consumers due to pests, plant diseases, and improper storage. Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology at TU Graz in cooperation with the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology and industrial partners have successfully tested ecological methods (i.e., hot water treatment [HWT] and biocontrol organisms) that improve the storage of apples and extend their shelf life, according to a press release.

In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, researchers from the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology at TU Graz successfully tested a method that significantly improves the shelf life of organic apples through the combined use of HWT and biocontrol organisms. “We infected organic apples with two of the most important putrefactive agents, then treated them with hot water and a biocontrol agent designed by us,” says researcher and PhD student Birgit Wassermann in the press release. “This combined approach enabled us to either kill the postharvest pathogens completely or to reduce the infection diameter to a maximum in about 60% of the apples treated in this way.”

The researchers conclude in the study that, “HWT-induced plant response diminished pathogen infection at industrial scale and showed an impact on the fungal composition. We suggest that the apple fruit is protected by either HWT or the inherent microbiome; however, presumable it is the combination of both, mediating disease resistance. Small-scale storage experiments applying HWT together with biological control agents provide further confirmation of the considerable potential of combining methods into one control strategy to reduce postharvest decay of apples. Moreover, harnessing the indigenous microbiota of fruits for a biological control approach is a promising and sustainable future strategy to prevent postharvest decay of fresh and stored produce.”

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

Learning about human appetites from the common fruit fly

Insights into the diets of the tiny common fruit fly may help provide understandings into how humans evolved to eat what we eat, according to new research published in Cell Reports and a press release from Kyoto University.

Identifying the genes that control plant traits

An international team of scientists led by the University of Goettingen has developed a new approach to identifying the genes that control plant traits.

Growing crops in high-salinity soil

Earth’s soil is becoming more saline, and as it does, growing crops becomes more difficult or impossible. Scientists at Brigham Young University (BYU) may have discovered a way to prevent soil salinity from ruining crops and crop yields.

Broccoli compound may promote kidney health for some

Research with a mouse model coupled with an analysis of human clinical trial data have suggested that bioactive compound(s) in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may reduce the progression of kidney disease in mice and humans with a specific genetic makeup.

Latest News right arrow

Barry Callebaut reports sustainable sourcing achievement

Barry Callebaut has released its Forever Chocolate Progress Report 2018/2019, which notes that of all the agricultural raw materials the company sourced in 2018/2019, 51% were sustainably sourced.

Hostess Brands agrees to buy Voortman for $320 million

Hostess Brands has entered an agreement to acquire Voortman, a manufacturer of premium, branded wafers as well as sugar-free and specialty cookies, from Swander Pace Capital for approximately $320 million in cash.

FDA grants temporary marketing permit for ruby chocolate

Barry Callebaut, a manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has been granted a Temporary Marketing Permit (TMP) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clearing the way to market ruby as chocolate in the United States.

FDA lacks science to declare CBD GRAS; issues warning to companies selling CBD-containing products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).

Italian and French food firms join IBM Food Trust to implement blockchain tracing technology

Gruppo Grigi has reached an agreement with IBM Food Trust for Aliveris brand pasta to use IBM Food Trust to trace the provenance of their pasta, which is made from 100% organic Italian wheat using non-GMO soybeans, and was produced in facilities using the traditional bronze drawn method of forming the pasta shape.