Influence of relative humidity on development of chilling injury of cucumber fruits during low temperature storage

Khandra Fahmy, Kohei Nakano


The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of relative humidity (RH) on development of the chilling injury (CI) symptoms and the shelf life of cucumber fruits. The fruits were stored at 5°C with RH conditions set at high (99%), medium (80%) and low (60%) for 5 days. During storage, gas composition in the chamber was maintained as same as ambient. After storage at 5°C, the fruits were stored at room temperature (24.5°C) for 6 days to check shelf life. Fruits were weighed before and after storage at 5°C to determine weight loss. Skin colour, firmness, electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were also evaluated before and after storage at 5°C, as well as every 2 days during shelf life period. The water loss of fruit was suppressed at high RH compared with low or medium RH after storage. Skin colour change (L*, C*, h°) was also maintained at high RH after storage 5°C. In addition, yellowing index increased rapidly of the fruits stored at low RH during shelf life period, while at medium and high RH was supressed at early stage of storage but increased thereafter. No significant different in the firmness was observed after storage at 5°C and during shelf life period. The electrolyte leakage and MDA content which are an indicator of cell membrane damage caused by CI of the fruits stored at low and medium RH increased significantly within 5°C storage period, while at high RH was supressed, however, after storage at 5°C, significant different was not found among them. During shelf life condition, the increase of electrolyte leakage had similar trends with MDA content, which these values increased rapidly of the fruits stored at low RH. While, on the fruits stored at medium RH, the increase of electrolyte leakage and MDA content was observed on the last day of shelf life condition, conversely, these values were supressed of the fruits stored at high RH. These results suggest that controlled RH during distribution process in low temperature is critical due to influence development of CI and acceptable quality of fruit. Storage at high RH not only suppressed the water loss, but also minimized the CI symptoms.



Keywords— cucumber fruits, chilling injury, relative humidity, shelf life.


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