BACKGROUND: Chitosan (CTS), as an ideal coating material, has been used for post-harvest treatment of fruits and vegetables. The effects of coating with 1.5% CTS, alone or combined with 10 mmol L−1 ascorbic acid (AsA), on post-harvest quality and core browning (CB) incidence in ‘Yali’ pears during storage at room temperature (25 ± 1 °C) were investigated in this study.
RESULTS: It was found that both CTS coating and CTS + AsA coating delayed the increase of weight loss, retained greater firmness, total soluble solids and titratable acidity content than controls; coatings decreased respiration rate and membrane permeability, and also effectively inhibited CB after 60 days of storage. Compared with CTS coating alone, CTS + AsA coating increased these beneficial effects and also helped to retain a much higher AsA content and the activities of antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase).
CONCLUSION: The CTS coating has the potential to maintain post-harvest quality and control CB which is the main problem in ‘Yali’ pears during storage. The CTS + AsA coating has more effective application in this study, which could not only be due to reducing the respiration rate and inhibiting the senescence process, but also to increasing the antioxidant capability of the fruit. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry