The Effect of Nanocoatings Enriched with Essential Oils on ‘Rocha’ Pear Long Storage

Gago, C., Antão, R., Dores, C., Guerreiro, A., Miguel, M.G, Faleiro, M. L., Figueiredo, A. C., Antunes, M. D. (2020).


The effect of coating ‘Rocha’ pears with alginate-based nanoemulsions enriched with lemongrass essential oil (LG) or citral (Cit) was investigated. Fruit were treated with the nanoemulsions: sodium alginate 2% (w/w) + citral 1% (w/w) (Cit1%); sodium alginate 2% (w/w) + citral 2% (w/w) (Cit2%); sodium alginate 2% (w/w) + lemongrass 1.25% (w/w) (LG1.25%); sodium alginate 2% (w/w) + lemongrass 2.5% (w/w) (LG2.5%). Then, fruit were stored at 0 °C and at 95% relative humidity, for six months. Fruit samples were taken after two, four and six months, and then placed at 22 °C. Upon removal and after 7 d shelf-life, fruit were evaluated for colour CIE (L*, h◦), firmness, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), weight loss, electrolytic leakage, microbial growth, symptoms of superficial scald and internal browning. All nanoemulsions had droplets in the nano range <500 nm, showed uniformity of particle size and stable dispersion. Cit-nanoemulsions had lower droplet size and higher stability than LG. No nanoemulsion showed cytotoxicity. Coatings reduced fruit colour evolution and preserved better firmness than control. After shelf-life, better firmness was found in LG-coated fruit. Coatings did not affect SSC and TA. Microbial growth was below the safety limits in all treatments. Fruit treated with LG-nanoemulsions did not show scald symptoms and panelists preferred LG1.25% coated fruit. Cit2% treated fruit showed the highest scald and internal browning symptoms, while LG1.25% did not show any disorders. This study suggests that LG-nanocoatings have the potential for preserving the quality of ‘Rocha’ pear.

Keywords: superficial scald; internal disorders; Pyrus communis; Cymbopogon citratus; citral

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