Chestnuts are very perishable fruits, whose quality may be compromised during postharvest handling. Damage can be caused both by insects and fungi. Water curing, a commonly used postharvest method, is based on soaking fruits in water typically for about one week. Factors that affect effectiveness of water curing have only been explained partially. A decrease in pH, likely imputable to a light fermentation caused by lactic acid bacteria, may inhibit the growth of moulds. In this study a Lactobacillus pentosus strain was selected for its ability to inhibit fungi, and used as a starter culture during water curing. As second goal, a reduction of the environmental impact of the process was evaluated by using water that had been re-cycled from a previous curing treatment. Experiments were performed on pilot as well as on farm scale. In all trials, microbial dynamics were evaluated by means of a polyphasic approach including conventional and molecular-based analyses. According to results, the employment of an adjunct culture appears as a very promising opportunity. Even if no reduction in the duration of the process was achieved, waters exhibited a minor microbial complexity and fruits did not lose the natural lustre after the process.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2014.02.009|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000338597100008|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-84897909245|
|Titolo:||Optimization of water curing for the preservation of chestnuts (Castanea sativa Mill.) and evaluation of microbial dynamics during process|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|