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Simple and non-polluting CO2 treatments improve the conservation of table grapes

A team from the Institute of Science and Technology of Food and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC) of Madrid and the University of Almería is studying viable and non-polluting solutions for improving the preservation of table grapes, which can be applied in a way simple in postharvest processes.

Grapes. PixabayTable grapes have seen a significant increase in consumption in recent years worldwide. Highly appreciated for its organoleptic and nutritional quality, it has a high susceptibility to fungi, mold and water loss, which leads to other alterations.

In a paper published in the journal Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, the team of researchers has confirmed that the application of two gaseous, non-polluting treatments with 20% CO2, carried out for 3 days at the beginning and in the middle of the conservation of the table grape to 0ºC, keep the quality of the grapes, specifically the variety Autumn Royal.

They have also observed that at the end of the process, just before grapes reach the consumer, the fruits have higher levels of flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, compounds with known beneficial properties for health.

Preservation at 0º C is the most used technology in the post-harvest of table grapes. Nevertheless, during storage at low temperatures there is a deterioration of the grapes, as well as the loss of beneficial compounds. This work shows that the physiological and nutritional quality can be maintained combining low temperatures storage with the application of non-polluting treatments, which allows the fruits to reach consumers with all their organoleptic properties after a month.

In addition, they have compared the application of the gas treatment once or twice, and have observed that with a single stroke the result is effective, although the application of the treatment a second time improves the results, which translates into an improvement of the quality of the grapes.

Reference article:

Irene Romero, Irene Domínguez, Noemia Morales-Diaz, M. Isabel Escribano, Carmen Merodio, M. Teresa Sanchez-Ballesta, ‘Regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis pathway by a single or dual short-term CO2 treatment in black table grapes stored at low temperature’, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Volume 156, November 2020.