Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) has one of the highest rates of postharvest weight loss among all vegetable crops. Postharvest studies were conducted to identify improved methods of extending the market life of fresh horseradish roots. Postharvest treatments included submerging or coating thoroughly washed and dried roots in chlorine (150 ppm), hydrogen dioxide (Storox), 2,6-dichloro-4-nitroaniline (Botran), carnauba-based wax, shellac-based wax, paraffin wax, and polyolefin shrink film (75–100 micron thickness). Two treatments, shrink wrapping and paraffin waxing, were superior in reducing postharvest weight loss and extending horseradish root market life. Roots from the non-paraffin waxed and nonshrink-wrapped treatments lost an average of 20% weight after only 4 days of ambient temperature storage. This resulted in significant root shriveling and unacceptable market appearance. Roots from the shrink wrapped treatments lost an average of 1% weight after 4 days of ambient temperature storage, while paraffin waxed roots lost about 3% weight. It is important to thoroughly dry the roots before shrink wrapping, to avoid moisture condensation on the inner surface of the film and subsequent microbial growth. All of the shrink-wrapped roots and paraffin waxed roots were marketable after 14 days of ambient storage, and no surface mold was detected. Less than 3% weight loss occurred after 14 days of ambient storage in all shrink-wrapped roots, while paraffin-waxed roots lost about 9% weight. Weight loss in the unwrapped roots from the other postharvest treatments ranged from an unacceptably high 44% to 48% after 14 days.
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