Using an On-line UV-C Apparatus to Treat Harvested Fruit for Controlling Postharvest Decay

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430.
  • | 2 Department de science et technologie des aliments et centre de recherche en horticulture, Université Laval, Québec, G1K7P4, Canada.
  • | 3 George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088.
  • | 4 Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel 50250.

An apparatus was designed to deliver low-dose UV-C light to the surface of fruit on a processing line and tested for its control of postharvest decay. It consisted of a row of UV-C emitting lamps mounted on a frame above a conveyer belt that transported the fruit. The dosage of the UV-C light delivered to the fruit surface was regulated by varying the speed of the conveyor belt. Postharvest decay after 28 days storage of `Empire' apples was reduced 52% relative to the untreated checks when the fruit were conveyed at 6.2 m·min−1 (1.38 kJ·m−2 dose) under the UV-C apparatus. Factors affecting the practical application of UV-C irradiation of fruit for controlling postharvest decay are discussed.

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