Salicylic acid, an alternative to maintain citrus fruit quality

Salicylic acid (SA) is an important plant molecule, involved in defense mechanism, stress regulation and other processes regarding plant growth and development. It is also considered as a natural plant hormone that inhibits ethylene biosynthesis and delays the fruit senescence. There are several studies showing beneficial influences of SA treatment on storability of banana, peach and strawberry fruit. Exogenous application of SA at low concentrations could  control postharvest rot and decay and could be alternative to synthetic chemicals currently used in postharvest handling of citrus.

Scientists at Bahauddin Zakariya University (Pakistan) have investigated the effects of postharvest SA application on the fruit quality of Kinnow mandarins during storage. Different concentrations of SA (4, 8 or 12 mM) were tested, the treated fruits were stored at 5 ± 1 °C and 90 ± 5% RH for 90 days and data were collected regarding different fruit quality parameters.

"Results revealed that maximum antioxidant activity, total phenolic contents, activities of peroxidases (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes were found in the fruit treated with 4 mM SA - The scientists explain - All SA levels had significant effects to prevent fungal attack in comparison to untreated control fruit during 90 days storage. Pre-storage application of 4 mM SA can be used safely to minimize the decay rate and to maintain the highest level of bioactive compounds in Kinnow mandarin fruit for three months under cold storage".

Source: SakeenaTul-Ain Haider, Saeed Ahmad, Ahmad Sattar Khan, Muhammad Akbar Anjum, Maryam Nasir, Safina Naz, 'Effects of salicylic acid on postharvest fruit quality of “Kinnow” mandarin under cold storage', 2020, Scientia Horticulturae, Vol. 259.

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