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Chitosan and natamycin for storing ground cherries

The ground cherry, also known as Physalis pubescens L., is a very popular species of berry in China. However, this type of fruit is especially vulnerable to attack by pathogens during storage in winter.

One of the solutions to maintain the quality of the product while it is in storage is to use 1.5% chitosan water with 50 mg of natamycin.

After this process, the fruit is stored at 0 °C and sampled every 10 days. The following tests are carried out during the sampling: an analysis of moulds and yeasts, enzyme activity, and a content analysis including dismutase superoxide, peroxidase ascorbate and malondialdehyde, as well as a thorough colour analysis.

A sensory evaluation is also carried out to assess the quality at the end of the storage period. The results show that an application of a chitosan coating combined with natamycin enhances the activity of dismutase superoxide and peroxidase ascorbate, which in turn reduces the physiological rate of senescence and prevents attacks by pathogens.

As a result, this treatment is able to keep the cherries at an acceptable level of quality for a maximum storage period of 50 days.