Effects on the Quality of Fresh Cucumber (<i>Cucumis sativas L.</i>) Treated with Ionizing, Non-ionizing Radiations and their Combined Treatments
Keywords:Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), Gamma Radiation, Ionizing, Non-Ionizing, Microwave Energy, Quality
Postharvest loss of fresh produces is one of the major concerns in many countries, specially where climate is hot and humid. Ionizing radiation is used as phytosanitary treatment (PI) for many fresh produces. However, some variety of fresh produces can not tolerate high ionizing radiation dose which is required for PI treatment. We evaluated the possibility of using non-ionizing radiation alone or in combination with ionizing radiation for fresh cucumbers to minimize post-harvest loss. Gamma radiation of 100 Gy, Microwaves generated from 180 watt for 10 seconds, and their combined effects on cucumbers were analyzed. External colour, firmness and percent storage loss of treated cucumbers were compared with untreated control group. External colour analysis of L*a*b* parameters showed a gradual increase of L* (lightness) and b* (blue to yellow) with the storage time. We did not observe any significant changes of L* and b* values between the treated and untreated cucumbers. However, values of a* (green to red) were changed significantly (p=0.0001). During the 15-day storage period we did not observe any significant differences of firmness of cucumber among the treated and untreated ones. At the end of the 15-day storage period, the cumilitive percent losses of treated and untreated cucumbers were 13.3% (combined ionizing and non-ionizing radiation), 16.6 % (only ionizing radiation), 20.0 % (only non-ionizing radiation) and 30.0 % (no treatment).
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