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Effect of hyperbaric atmospheres on post-harvest quality of broccoli and cashew peduncle

Abstract

Broccoli and cashew peduncles are rich in antioxidant compounds with reach high market value. However, its high metabolism rate generates a very short postharvest shelf life (a few days) at ambient temperature. Alternative strategies for maintaining and even increasing the postharvest quality of fresh horticultural produce with little energy consumption have gained a creasing interest of the scientific community. This interest reflexes the growing public demand for reducing the use of chemicals, increasing the length of the shelf life and the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables, and generating food with higher functional property. Recent studies demonstrated the possibility of using hyperbaric pressure (HBP) for reducing the rate of the physiological activities related to plant ripening and senescence, and increasing antioxidant compounds, natural resistance and postharvest life of fresh horticultural produce. A HBP system uses little energy for exposing horticultural produce to O2 enriched air above the ambient air standard concentration of 0,278 kg m-3 at 22°C, the standardized atmospheric pressure. Given this context, the objectives of this research are: a) to determine the optimal HBP for extending the postharvest shelf life of broccoli and cashew peduncles; and b) to determine the effects of the resultant O2 concentrations on the physiology, biochemistry and metabolisms pro- and antioxidant of this vegetables. The experiments will be conducted at the Postharvest Laboratory of FCAV-UNESP, Jaboticabal, SP, using broccoli and cashew peduncles cultivated in the region of Jaboticabal. The project will be divided into two, according to the plant material. The produces will be submitted to the atmospheric pressure, 100 kPa (the control sample), and at 200, 400, 600 and 800 kPa, and at a constant temperature of 15°C and RH (96%). The broccoli remained under HBP for 1, 2 or 3 days and cashew peduncle for 1, 2 or 4 days. Three replicates were performed for each period of HBP application, yielding a total of 9 experiments (collections) each produce. At the end of each period, the vessels were automatically depressurized for 2 h, the produces were removed from each vessel and evaluated, and remaining stored for 2 days (2D) at 15°C. Qualitative analyzes will be performed according to the material studied. (AU)

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