Chile: Technology to control postharvest fruit rot was patented

Dr. Erika Briceño, from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of Chile's Austral University, along Dr. Ximena Besoain, professor at the Faculty of Agronomy of the Catholic University of Valparaiso, and Engineer Cristián Canales, who also worked at this university, are part of the research team that patented the invention entitled "Process and equipment (UCV -VK) to control fruit rot in postharvest".

The invention consists of equipment and a process that stimulates the fruit's defence mechanisms in the postharvest period, which protects it from attacks from microorganisms and prevents the development of fungal diseases. It is a process that does not use chemical fungicides, therefore, leaves no residue, that could be hazardous to human health, on the fruit.

This innovation consists of a bath and subsequent drying of the fruit. The fruit is immersed in a hot bath with a solution of calcium nitrate, after which, it is passed through a tunnel where it uniformly receives a specific dose of ultraviolet light (UV -C).

This process activates the fruits' systemic resistance mechanisms that protect them from major diseases developed in the post-harvest period such as Botrytis, Penicillium and Phytophthora, among others; thus directly benefiting exports and the countries economic development.

Source: Postharvest

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