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  • Author or Editor: Jackie F. Nock x
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The New York strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) industry is focused on sale of relatively short term storage cultivars that are ripe at harvest. Although storage of harvested fruit at low temperatures is generally recommended, growers have reported reduced fruit quality in the market after low temperature storage. Therefore we have explored the potential for using intermediate temperatures for strawberry storage. Physical qualities and antioxidant composition of the Jewel cultivar stored in 75%, 85%, or 95% RH at 0.5, 10, and 20 °C for 4 days have been studied. Overall quality declined more rapidly at 20 °C, especially at 95% RH, than at 10 °C and 0.5 °C. There was little change in weight loss at 0.5, 10, and 20 °C for 2 days but it increased at the lowest RH at 10 °C and increased rapidly from day 3 at 20 °C in lower RHs. Firmness was maintained, or even increased, at 0.5 or 10 °C than 20 °C, but soluble solids concentrations were lower at higher than lower storage temperatures. Red color development and anthocyanin concentrations were controlled more at 0.5 or 10 °C than at 20 °C. Total phenolic compounds were higher at 20 °C than at other temperatures at all RHs. The total antioxidant capacity of berries was higher at 10 °C than at 0.5 or 20 °C. However, total ascorbic acid concentrations, flavonoid contents, and were not affected by RH and temperature. In conclusion, while the best temperature for long term storage is 0.5 °C, quality can be maintained at 10 °C for acceptable periods of time. High RH environments increase the loss of quality at higher storage temperatures. Higher storage temperatures may cause faster ripening and accumulation of antioxidant compounds, but marketable quality of the fruit may be reduced.

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