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Short hot water treatment induces chilling tolerance in cucumbers

Ibrahim N. Nasef from the faculty of Agriculture at the Suez Canal University (Ismalia, Egypt) studied the effects of treating cucumbers with short hot water dipping at 45°C (SHW45) and 55°C (SHW55) for 5 minuted compared to fruit dipped in 25°C water (control treatment).

The purpose was to reduce chilling injury, prevent decay, maintain sensory quality and induce antioxidant enzymes during storage. Cucumbers were kept at 4°C for 7, 14 and 21 days to simulate refrigerated storage and at 20°C for 2 and 4 days to simulate the commercial phase in stores.

Weight loss, appearance, decay, colour, firmness, taste, soluble solid content (SSC), chilling injury (CI), total reducing and non-reducing sugars, phenolic compounds, electrolyte leakage (EL), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) activity were measured.

Results revealed that SHW55 treatment provided the best results in terms of lower weight loss, CI, EL and POD activity with the best appearance, colour and taste. No significant difference emerged as regards sugar and soluble solid content.

No negative effect manifested on the cucumbers treated with SHW55 during storage, so dipping at 55°C for 5 minutes could be a useful treatment in a processing centre as it maintains quality, prevents decay and mitigates chilling injury while prolonging the storage period and the possibility of storing cucumbers at a non-optimal low temperature.

Source: Nasef Ibrahim N., 'Short hot water as safe treatment induces chilling tolerance and antioxidant enzymes, prevents decay and maintains quality of cold-stored cucumbers', 2018, Postharvest Biology and Technology, Vol. 138, pag. 1-10.

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