Hydrocooling as an Alternative to Forced-air Cooling for Maintaining Fresh-market Strawberry Quality

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  • 1 Universidade Estadual de Campinas, C.P.: 6011, CEP.: 10383-875, Campinas, SP, Brazil
  • | 2 Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690.
  • | 3 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Balm, FL 33598.

Hydrocooling was evaluated as an alternative to forced-air cooling for strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) fruit. `Sweet Charlie' strawberries were cooled by forced-air and hydrocooling to 4 °C and held in different storage regimes in three different trials. Quality attributes, including surface color, firmness, weight loss, soluble solids, and ascorbic acid content, pH and total titratable acidity, were evaluated at the full ripe stage. Fruit hydrocooled to 4 °C and stored at different temperatures for 8 or 15 days showed overall better quality than forced-air cooled fruit, with significant differences in epidermal color, weight loss, and incidence and severity of decay. Fruit stored wrapped in polyvinylchloride (PVC) film after forced-air cooling or hydrocooling retained better color, lost less weight, and retained greater firmness than fruit stored uncovered, but usually had increased decay. There is potential for using hydrocooling as a cooling method for strawberries.

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