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Agronomy (Switzerland)

Elazar Fallik

Sharon Alkalai-Tuvia

Daniel Chalupowicz

For decades, heat treatments have been known to reduce or eliminate decay-causing agents and slow the physiological deterioration of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. For years, fungicides and pesticides have been used to control fungi on freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. However, these chemicals can contaminate the environment and be hazardous to those who consume fresh produce. Therefore, heat treatments, lasting only minutes or up to several days, have been developed to control insects and pathogenic fungi on fresh produce after harvest. In the 1990s, hot water rinsing and brushing (HWRB) technology to clean and disinfect fresh produce at relatively high temperatures (50 to 62 °C) for seconds (12–20 s) was developed at the Volcani Institute in Israel. This technology has been improved over time and is currently used commercially on several crops in Israel and elsewhere. This article discusses the development of this prestorage technology, from 1996 to 2006, and describes the effects of HWRB on the internal and external characteristics of fruits and vegetables, as well as the possible mode of action of this technology, as examined in the literature published since 1996.

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Hot Water Rinsing and Brushing of Fresh Produce as an Alternative to Chemical Treatment after Harvest—The Story behind the Technology
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Elazar Fallik

Sharon Alkalai-Tuvia

Daniel Chalupowicz

Hot Water Rinsing and Brushing of Fresh Produce as an Alternative to Chemical Treatment after Harvest—The Story behind the Technology

For decades, heat treatments have been known to reduce or eliminate decay-causing agents and slow the physiological deterioration of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. For years, fungicides and pesticides have been used to control fungi on freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. However, these chemicals can contaminate the environment and be hazardous to those who consume fresh produce. Therefore, heat treatments, lasting only minutes or up to several days, have been developed to control insects and pathogenic fungi on fresh produce after harvest. In the 1990s, hot water rinsing and brushing (HWRB) technology to clean and disinfect fresh produce at relatively high temperatures (50 to 62 °C) for seconds (12–20 s) was developed at the Volcani Institute in Israel. This technology has been improved over time and is currently used commercially on several crops in Israel and elsewhere. This article discusses the development of this prestorage technology, from 1996 to 2006, and describes the effects of HWRB on the internal and external characteristics of fruits and vegetables, as well as the possible mode of action of this technology, as examined in the literature published since 1996.

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