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By Nadav Nitzan, Ph.D.

Postharvest pathology of beans

The most common diseases affecting bean pods are Gray Mold (Botrytis cinerea) (Fig. 1), and White Mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) (Fig. 2). Other diseases may be pod russeting (Plectosporium tabacinum) (Fig. 3), Rhizopus rot (Rhizopus stolonifer), Pythium leak, and Alternaria rot. These fungal pathogens are field-borne and may cause disease in the field to reduce yield. However, due to latent infection they frequently are troublesome in storage. Therefore, it is essential to correctly manage disease in the field prior to harvest.

Following harvest, pods should be handled with care to avoid skin injury, and hydro-cooled to 5-7.5oC to remove field heat (Fig. 4), prevent water loss, minimize the incidence of decay and prevent rapid quality decrease. During storage, temperature should be maintained at 5-7.5oC with 95-100% relative humidity. Nevertheless, temperature should not drop below 5oC, otherwise chilling injury, which symptoms are rust-discolored spots on the pods, will occur (Fig. 5). In addition, it is suggested to avoid exposure to ethylene as loss of green pigmentation and increased browning are likely to occur.

StePac offers bulk and retail packaging for a variety of bean types (Figs. 6 & 7). Our Xtend® MA/MH packaging preserve color and glossy appearance, reduce dehydration of pods due to modified humidity, preserve firmness and prevent shrivelling. The modified atmosphere reduces decay and mitigates russeting and other chilling injury symptoms. Packing beans in StePac's Xtend® Modified Atmosphere/Modified Humidity Packaging is therefore advantageous, preserving field fresh flavor and nutritional value during prolonged storage, reduces waste in the supply chain, facilitates market expansion and sea and land transport and reduces logistical costs.

For more information:
Tel: +972 (0)4 6123514
Fax: +972 (0)4 9872946

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