The Effect of UV-C Radiation on Gray Mold Decay Control and Postharvest Quality of Strawberry (cv. Selva)



Strawberry as a very perishable fruit, is exposed to fungi pathogens especially Botrytis cinerea, thus its storage life is very limited. The use of synthetic chemical compounds to control gray mold on strawberry as well as on other fruits that are directly consumed by humans, have become less and less advisable. On the other hand the use of non chemical and safe methods of controlling gray mold in horticultural crops is essential and on the increase. The aim of this study was mainly the control of B. cinerea through application of Ultraviolet light at 254 nm. Following inoculation of fruits with B.cinerea, Ultraviolate light at 0.25, 0.75, 1.5, 2.5 and 5 Kj/M2 was applied on fruits and then they were stored at 3°C. Later on, the quality characteristics of the fruits (pH, TA, TSS/TA, Vitamin C, color, decay, weight loss) were assessed. The results indicated that UV-C treatment effectively controlled B. cinerea and had positive effects on some quality charactersistics. The treated fruits with UV-C at optimum doses encountered have low decay, high firmness, TSS and pH, more appropriate color values (L*, a*, b*, and hue angle), a low percentage of weight loss and a low TA as compared to control. According to the results, it can be concluded that UV-C light at its optimum doses can act as an alternative to synthetic chemical compounds, especially fungicides during storage of most horticultural crops.