Sweet Pepper Quality Maintenance: Impact of Hot Water and Chitosan

Document Type : Original Article


 SWEET PEPPERS (Capsicum annuum L. testy red F1, hybrid) were grown at Ismailia Governorate during the two successive seasons of 2011/2012 and 2012-2013. Marketable fruits (3/4 red color) were used to study the effect of hot water at 25, 45 and 55ºC and Chitosan (0, 0.5 and 1%) treatments on the postharvest appearance, compositional quality as well as reducing chilling injury symptoms. Samples were stored at refrigerated storage (5 or 8ºC and 90-95% RH) for 28 days and were monitored weekly. Pepper fruits stored at 8ºC did not show any pitting and seed darkening during all the storage periods, whereas this symptoms were noticed in fruits stored at 5ºC after 14 days and became pronounced as the storage period extended. All tested treatments were effective in reducing weight loss, decay, shriveling, texture loss and chilling injury compared with untreated fruit during cold storage. Sweet peppers treated with hot water at 45ºC and chitosan at 0.5 or 1% did not develop any chilling injury symptoms (expressed as pitting, calyx and seed darkening) during 21 days of storage at 5ºC, but after 28 days of storage traces of these symptoms were detected. Moreover the previous treatment maintained fruit texture, total carotenoids content and reduced decay incidence throughout all the storage periods. Therefore, hot water at 45ºC and chitosan at 0.5 or 1% are promising treatments for reducing chilling injury and maintaining quality of sweet peppers during 28 days of storage at 5ºC and 90-95 RH%.