Lettuce is a vegetable highly susceptible to water loss, which reduces its shelf life and increases the final cost to the consumer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of hydrocooling on the postharvest shelf life of butter lettuce 'Vitória de Santo Antão'. The lettuce heads, after selection, were subjected to the following treatments: T1= hydrocooling followed by storage at 5°C in the cold chamber; T2= storage in the cold chamber at 5°C without hydrocooling; T3= hydrocooling followed by storage at 22°C and T4= storage at 22°C without hydrocooling. We determined the shelf life, leaves mass loss, chlorophyll content, relative water content, total soluble sugars content, reducing sugars, non-reducing sugars and starch. The data were analyzed in split plot in a randomized block design with four replications. The hydrocooling was effective in slowing down the visual wilting of the leaves at 5 and 22°C, extending the shelf life. The hydrocooling combined with storage at 5°C maintained the leaves water balance, keeping them hydrated during storage, causing an increase of 20% in the marketing of the product, from 5 days in lettuces without hydrocooling, to 6 days when these were subjected to hydrocooling. No effect of hydrocooling in the chlorophyll content, total soluble sugars, reducing sugars, non-reducing sugars and starch of leaves was observed in any of the storage temperatures. The hydrocooling at 4°C during 5 minutes, followed by storage at 5°C is an effective technique to maintain the leaves water balance, promoting longer shelf life.
Species from Capsicum genus are used for different purposes and in more recent years as ornamental potted plant. Despite the increased commercial importance, there are only a few studies on the environmental factors affecting the post-production shelf life of these ornamental plants. The presence of ethylene induces various responses on potted peppers, reducing the shelf life of sensitive cultivars. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of ethylene and the inhibitors of ethylene action, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and silver thiosulfate (STS) on the shelf life of potted 'Calypso' and 'MG 302' peppers. Cultivar 'MG 302' showed intermediate sensitivity to ethylene action, while the cultivar 'Calypso' showed complete abscission of leaves when exposed to ethylene. In both cultivars, treatment with STS + Ethylene presented symptoms of phytotoxicity in plants, while treatment with 1-MCP + Ethylene was effective in delaying senescence and abscission for the cultivar 'MG 302', while cultivar 'Calypso' showed abscission similar to control plants. Plants treated with STS showed the longest durability when compared to the other treatments, about six days for 'Calypso' and 18 days for 'MG 302'. Nevertheless, plants treated with 1-MCP also exhibited good shelf life, about six days for 'Calypso' and nine days for the 'MG 302'. Although the treatment with STS was more efficient on the plants shelf life, did not completely block the action of ethylene and exhibited some phytotoxicity, while the treatment with 1-MCP had good efficiency without inducing any toxicity.
The breakdown of dormancy and early sprouting is one of the main causes of losses of stored potatoes. Sprouting control becomes important especially when tubers are submitted to long-term storage for further processing by the potato industry. The objective of this work is to evaluate the effect of organic sprout inhibitors, eugenol and menthol essential oils, on the suppression of growth on non-dormant 'Asterix' tubers stored at 8 °C. Administration of eugenol and menthol essential oils reduced the number and the length of sprouts during cold storage up to fifty days. Nevertheless, the essential oils stimulated the break of bud apical dominance, stimulating auxiliary buds growth. The effect of the oils was restricted to inducing necrosis of superficial sprout cells without any apparent effect on the skin periderm structure. Repeated applications of oils are necessary to prolong the inhibitory effects of the essential oils on sprouts growth.
Selenium (Se) is considered a beneficial element in higher plants when provided at low concentrations. Recently, studies have unveiled the interactions between Se and ethylene metabolism throughout plant growth and development. However, despite the evidence that Se may provide longer shelf life in ethylene-sensitive flowers, its primary action on ethylene biosynthesis and cause-effect responses are still understated. In the present review, we discuss the likely action of Se on ethylene biosynthesis and its consequence on postharvest physiology of cut flowers. By combining Se chemical properties with a dissection of ethylene metabolism, we further highlighted both the potential use of Se solutions and their downstream responses. We believe that this report will provide the foundation for the hypothesis that Se plays a key role in the postharvest longevity of ethylene-sensitive flowers.
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