Mexico: Nayarit researchers receive award for improving avocado quality

A group of researchers from the Technological Institute of Tepic (ITT) won the National Award in Science and Food Technology for applying chitosan as a fungicide on avocados to inhibit fungal growth and enhance the fruit’s quality.

"This is a clean sustainable product that is effective against pathogens and that doesn’t affect the fruit’s export quality," said Professor Porfirio Gutierrez Martinez in an interview with the News Agency of CONACYT.

Gutierrez Martinez and his collaborators, Martina Alejandra Chacon Lopez and Luis Angel Xoca Orozco, determined the best conditions for the application of chitosan in avocado based on a study at the Laboratory of Biotechnology Institute.

Chitosan is a product derived from crustacean shells that was used to prolong the shelf life of avocados for more than 15 days.

"We formed a film around the fruit that allows it to keep its characteristics for a longer time during storage," said Gutiérrez Martinez.

Xoca Orozco said that they had also performed tests with banana, guava and mango, as these products were harvested in the state of Nayarit and they wanted to help the region in the future.

"It is comprehensive work, producers pay attention to how the product looks, because its quality looks better without symptoms of disease, and the scientists focus on gene expression and everything related to the system," he stressed.

The research has been approved and is of interest for avocado growers, not only of Nayarit and Mexico, but from different countries.

The recognition was awarded by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the Mexican Coca-Cola Industry, in the category of professional food science on its 34th edition.


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