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Verdenora® Project

Italy: Verdeviva electrolysed water protects citrus fruit from post-harvest mould

De Nora NEXT reached significant results with its innovative Verdenora® project concerning the use of electrolysed water against post-harvest mould.

It is very important to check fungal diseases caused by Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum in citrus fruit, as they could generate considerable losses in the post-harvest phase. This is why a group of researchers from the Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo in Bari (CIHEAM/IAMB) and the CNR in Rome analysed the effect of Verdeviva electrolysed water on the health and quality of citrus fruit.

Electrolysed water is produced with the Eva System® 100 from Industrie De Nora S.p.A., using potassium chloride and water as a base.

The treatments were tested on:
  1. clementines
  2. Valencia and Navelina oranges
The treatments were carried out using a normal washing procedure.

The following were analysed after the wash phase:
  • quantity of fungus on fruit by assessing fungus-forming units.
  • compactness of fruit using a penetrometer after various storage phases at 4°C: 10 days, 30 days, etc.
Here are the data collected after 30 days as an example.

Figure1. Results concerning the epiphyte population of citrus fruit (Navelina) washed with electrolysed or normal water after 30 days.

Figure 2. Results concerning compactness (g/cm2) of citrus fruit (Navelina) washed with electrolysed or normal water after 30 days. 

Figure 3. Results concerning Brix levels of 
citrus fruit (Navelina) washed with electrolysed or normal water after 30 days. 

Microbiological analyses showed how washing citrus fruit with electrolysed water reduced fungus on fruit (Fig. 1) and therefore improved the quality and shelf-life of the produce (Fig. 2) as well as sugar levels (Fig. 3).

Finally, the authors said that electrolysed water can be a good method to improve the quality of fruit as it can reduce costs and the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Source: Thaer Yassen, Alessandra Ricelli, Pietro Albanese, Cristian Carboni, Violetta Ferri, Anna Maria D'Onhgia, "Use of electrolyzed water to improve fruit quality of some Citrus species", 2013, Book of Abstract Future IPM in Europa.

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