Controlling temperature and water loss to maintain ascorbic acid levels in strawberries during postharvest handling
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'Chandler','Oso Grande' and 'Sweet Charlie' strawberries were stored for 8 days at 1 or 10 degrees C, or 4 days at 20 degrees C, either unwrapped or wrapped in PVC film to retard water loss. Total ascorbic acid (AA) content was expressed on a dry weight basis to correct for water loss differences between treatments. Loss of AA was low and did not differ between wrapped treatments at 1 and 10 degrees C, but was much greater at 20 degrees C, Wrapping reduced AA loss by 5-fold at 1 and 10 degrees C and by 5-fold at 20 degrees C, The effect was not due to modification of O-2 and CO2 levels in wrapped treatments, which was minimal. The results indicate that water loss had a greater effect on AA levels than temperature. Combining wrapping with storage at 1 or 10 degrees C reduced AA loss by 7.5-fold compared to unwrapped strawberries stored at 20 degrees C.