Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Grape news: New treatment combination safe alternative to sulfur dioxide

Hot water, rachis removal, modified atmosphere packaging combination preserves table grapes

Packaged fresh-cut grapes are becoming increasingly popular with consumers who like the convenience and health benefits of these ready-to-eat fruits.

To keep table grapes fresh and increase shelf life, scientists are seeking advanced techniques that provide healthy, safe alternatives to conventional packing methods.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) have developed and tested an effective new technique that combines hot water treatment, rachis removal, and modified atmosphere packaging (MA) to extend the shelf life of table grapes.

Commercially packaged table grapes stored in clusters in perforated packaging have a short shelf life—typically 8 to 10 weeks—as a result of their exposure to the environment. Grape shelf life is often shortened by factors including fruit weight loss, stem browning, softening, shattering, and decay. Because of its effectiveness in delaying stem browning and decay, sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) is currently the treatment of choice in many countries for prolonging shelf life of grapes. There are disadvantages to sulfur dioxide use, however. The concentration of SO2 necessary to inhibit fungal growth may induce injuries in grape fruits and stems, and sulfite residues pose a health risk for some individuals. Applications of SO2 have been restricted in many countries, making it essential to identify safe, alternative technologies that effectively control fungal growth and assure high-quality fruit.

Yaguang Luo and William Conway from the USDS ARS, in collaboration with Liping Kou, Wu Ding, and Xinghua Liu from China's Northwest A&F University, recently published a report in HortScience that explored alternatives to sulfur dioxide for maintaining quality of table grapes, including various combinations of rachis removal, chlorinated wash, hot water treatment, and modified atmosphere packaging.

Grapes were prepared by cutting off the rachis 1 to 2 mm from the fruit or by keeping the clusters intact. After initial preparation, short-stem and cluster grapes were subjected to chlorinated wash and/or hot water (45ºC for 8 minutes) treatment and packaged in plastic trays sealed with a gas-permeable film. The treated grapes, as well as the commercially packed grapes in their original packages, were stored at 5ºC for up to 4 weeks.

According to the Kou, a visiting scientist from China and the study's lead researcher, the hot water treatment resulted in significantly higher oxygen retention and lower carbon dioxide accumulation in packages, firmer texture, higher overall visual quality, lower decay rate, and lower microbial populations than other treatments or commercially packed grapes. Grapes that were cut from the rachis and treated with hot water and chlorine maintained the highest quality for 4 weeks, with the least decay among all treatments. A chlorine prewash treatment significantly reduced microbial populations on cluster grapes and maintained better overall quality.

Kou concluded that "the combination of these treatments maintained excellent visual quality throughout the entire storage duration, whereas the commercially packaged grapes became decayed and their quality declined to a level that was unacceptable. The combination treatment was successful in reducing spoilage microbes, preventing dehydration, and delaying softening and senescence of grapes."

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site:

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>