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A breakthrough in lychee post harvest treatment with no sulphur residue

Lychee is a subtropical fruit of high commercial value. The major limitation in lychee marketing is the rapid loss of its red skin color after harvest, along with skin browning. The retention of fresh, red skin color throughout the marketing chain has been a major focus of post harvest issue on lychee.

Lychee skin browning and post harvest decay during storage and transportation are currently controlled by adopting sulphur dioxide (SO2) fumigation followed by acidification and in many lychee exporting countries. However, SO2 fumigation leaves undesirable residues, alters the fruit taste and results in health hazards for consumers and pack house workers. On top of that, SO2 fumigation will bleach the skin. And the color that restored after acidification does not present a “natural” look. Also, tougher SO2 residue limit has been warranted in recent years, and there is indication that SO2 is very likely to be banned sometime in the future.

The mechanism of lychee skin browning is caused by following factors: Enzyme activity in the skin, mainly PPO and POD, Desiccation, Pathogen infection,
Mechanical damage, Respiration or aging.

Following years of intensive research and investment, Agrifresh Biotech are now introducing a technology breakthrough of a practical procedure in lychee post harvest treatment with no or minimum sulfite residue, depending on available facility and cold chain control capability.

The company's formulation is to combine antioxidant facilities and acidification following minimum or no sulphur treatment with an organic coating. It is a practical procedure in post harvest treatment that is commercially feasible. The application can be applied as a dip or a drench. Processing time is about 40 minutes per cycle. Treatment cost is about USD25.00 to 50.00 per ton, depending on the cost of local supply.

The technology has been successfully implemented by lychee suppliers in China and Mexico.

Mr. Edward Jih
Agrifresh Biotech Co., Ltd.
Ms. Lynn Sun


Publication date: 11/11/2010


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