A chlorine dioxide generating pad has been used as postharvest treatment to maintain the quality and safety of strawberries in two different storage conditions. During the short storage time (3 days at 4°C + 2 days at 20°C) fruit treated with ClO2 maintained better quality parameters, as color, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, anthocyanins, antioxidant capacity and lower values of weight loss. During the long storage time (12 days at 2°C), the parameters related to postharvest quality were generally preserved and the effect of ClO2 was positive to reduce the total yeast and mold, except the last period of the experiment when the ClO2 gas-generating pad was probably exhausted. The sensory evaluation revealed that the sanitization with ClO2 maintained a global positive acceptance in particular during the short storage time. The results suggest that this treatment may be suitable to maintain the quality during short storage and long storage until 8 days and it may be an important alternative sanitizer thanks to the positive action against the yeast and mold without modifying the quality of the strawberries.
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