Mini-review: Heat treatments for the control of citrus postharvest green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum
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Cita bibliográficaPalou, L. (2013). Mini-review: Heat treatments for the control of citrus postharvest green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum. In: Méndez-Vilas, A. (ed.). Microbial pathogens and strategies for combating them: science, technology and education, 508-514. Badajoz: Formatex Research Center.
Postharvest green mold, caused by the pathogen Penicillium digitatum (Pers.:Fr.) Sacc., is the most economically important postharvest disease of citrus fruits in Spain, areas with Mediterranean climate, and citrus production areas worldwide characterized by low summer rainfall. Economic losses due to this disease have been typically reduced through the application of synthetic chemical fungicides such as imazalil or thiabendazole. However, human health risks and environmental contamination associated with chemical residues and the proliferation of resistant strains of the pathogen are major problems associated with the use of these chemicals. There is, therefore, an increasing need to find and implement alternative antifungal postharvest treatments as part of integrated management programs for disease control. Among alternative physical decay control methods, heat treatments are the most common and popular because they are relatively effective, simple, cheap, and easy to apply and combine with other control systems. In this article, research work based on the evaluation of heat treatments used alone or in combination with other physical, chemical, or biological methods for the control of citrus green mold is reviewed. The most important postharvest heat treatments that have been tested against P. digitatum on fresh citrus fruits are curing, hot water dips (HWD), and hot water rinsing and brushing (HWRB). Typical citrus curing employs exposure of fruit for 2- 3 days to an air atmosphere heated to temperatures higher than 30°C at relative humidity higher than 90%. HWD are generally applied as relatively brief immersions (1-5 min) in water heated to 40-55 °C. HWRB consists basically in packingline machinery that treats the fruit by the application of hot water over rotating brushes at a relatively high temperature (55-65 °C) for a short time (10-60 s). Efficacy results, general performance, modes of action, limitations, advantages and disadvantages, and commercial feasibility of these heat treatments are discussed.