Factors affecting quality in sweet cherry

Factors affecting quality in sweet cherryFactors affecting quality in sweet cherry

By Sofía Correia, Rob Schouten, Ana P. Silva and Berta Gonçalves

Sweet cherries are attractive fruits due to their taste, color, nutritional value, and beneficial health effects. Sweet cherry is a highly perishable fruit and all quality attributes and the level of health promoting compounds are affected by growth conditions, picking, packing, transport, and storage.

Optimizing storage and transport conditions, such as hydrocooling with added CaCl2, chain temperature and relative humidity control, are crucial for slowing down decay of quality attributes and increasing the antioxidant capacity. Application of controlled atmosphere during storage is successful in delaying quality attributes, but lowers ascorbic acid levels.

The combination of low temperature storage in combination with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is successful in reducing the incidence of fruit decay, while preserving taste attributes and stem color with a higher antioxidant capacity. A new trend in MAP is the use of biodegradable films such as micro-perforated polylactic acid film that combine significant retention of quality attributes, high consumer acceptability, and a reduced environmental footprint. Another trend is to replace MAP with fruit edible coatings.

Edible coatings, such as various lipid composite coatings, have advantages in retaining quality attributes and increasing the antioxidant activity (chitosan) and are regarded as approved food additives, although studies regarding consumer acceptance are needed.

Finally, the recent publication of the sweet cherry genome will likely increase the identification of more candidate genes involved in growing and maintaining health related compounds and quality attributes.

Semperfresh to maintain stem colour and increases shelf life
Semperfresh by AGRICOAT NATURESEAL is a coating developed for the postharvest protection of fruits, such as: apples, pears, melons, pineapples, kiwis, cherries, tropical and subtropical fruits. 

Semperfresh maintains the stem colour and increases shelf life in cherries.