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Keywords:

  • biological control;
  • citrus;
  • microbial antagonists;
  • plant extracts;
  • postharvest;
  • salt additives

Summary

The postharvest diseases of citrus fruit cause considerable losses during storage and transportation. These diseases are managed principally by the application of synthetic fungicides. However, the increasing concern for health hazards and environmental pollution due to chemical use has required the development of alternative strategies for the control of postharvest citrus diseases. Management of postharvest diseases using microbial antagonists, natural plant-derived products and Generally Recognized As Safe compounds has been demonstrated to be most suitable to replace the synthetic fungicides, which are either being banned or recommended for limited use. However, application of these alternatives by themselves may not always provide a commercially acceptable level of control of postharvest citrus diseases comparable to that obtained with synthetic fungicides. To provide more effective disease control, a multifaceted approach based on the combination of different postharvest treatments has been adopted. Actually, despite the distinctive features of these alternative methods, several reasons hinder the commercial use of such treatments. Consequently, research should emphasize the development of appropriate tools to effectively implement these alternative methods to commercial citrus production.