The effects of rapid chilling and storage conditions on the quality of Brigitta Blue cultivar highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.)

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Controlled atmosphere storage allows for the long-term and short-term storage of fruit without a significant decrease in quality, resulting in a longer shelflife of fresh fruit. The Department of Horticulture at the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin conducted research on the effects of post-harvest precooling (3-4°C within two hours) and storage conditions (conventional cold room and controlled atmosphere storage) on fruit firmness, chemical composition, colour and weight loss.

After six weeks of storage, it was found that the quality of fruit had declined. In comparison with fresh fruit, the harvest was found to have lost weight and darkened in colour. In addition, a decrease in firmness and the content of ascorbic acid and polyphenolic compounds was also observed. The fruits that were stored in a cold room with a controlled atmosphere and rapidly chilled immediately after harvest were the least affected. In addition, the research showed that there was a high correlation between the anthocyanin index and the polyphenol content in the fruits. To maintain the high quality of the fruit, the fruit must be very rapidly cooled soon after harvest and stored under optimal conditions - a cold room with a controlled atmosphere.

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