Shelf life extension of fresh fruit and vegetables by chitosan treatment.
Sommaire de l'article
Among alternatives that are currently under investigation to replace the use of synthetic fungicides to control postharvest diseases in fresh produce and to extend their shelf life, chitosan application has shown promising disease control, at both preharvest and postharvest stages. Chitosan shows a dual mode of action, on the pathogen and on the plant, as it reduces the growth of decay-causing fungi and foodborne pathogens and induces resistance responses in the host tissues. Chitosan coating forms a semipermeable film on the surface of fruit and vegetables, thereby delaying the rate of respiration, decreasing weight loss, maintaining the overall quality, and prolonging the shelf life. Moreover, the coating can provide a substrate for incorporation of other functional food additives, such as minerals, vitamins, or other drugs or nutraceutical compounds that can be used to enhance the beneficial properties of fresh commodities, or in some cases the antimicrobial activity of chitosan. Chitosan coating has been approved as GRAS substance by USFDA, and its application is safe for the consumer and the environment. This review summarizes the most relevant and recent knowledge in the application of chitosan in postharvest disease control and maintenance of overall fruit and vegetable quality during postharvest storage.