Quality improvement and shelf life extension of fresh apricot fruit (Prunus Armeniaca cv. Shahroudi) using postharvest chemical treatments and packaging during cold storage

Document Type: Research paper


Department of Horticultural Science, College of Agriculture, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran


The main objective of this work was to assess the effectiveness of salicylic acid (SA), calcium chloride (CaCl2) or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and packaging on some qualitative properties of apricot fruit during cold storage. The experiments were conducted using a completely randomized design as factorial, with three replicates. Fruits were dipped in SA (0.1 or 0.5 mM), CaCl2 (1 or 2%) or NaHCO3 (0.2 or 0.5%) solutions for 3 min at 22°C. Then, fruits were placed into polyethylene trays and wrapped with cellophane films to create a passive modified atmosphere packaging, whilst the second group remained unwrapped. Fruits were stored in a cool room at 0.5 ± 0.5°C. Regardless of chemical treatments, total soluble solids (TSS), organoleptic characteristics, and shelf life were higher in packed fruit compare to unpacked fruit. The TSS, weight loss and firmness were lower in fruits covered with cellophane compared to unwrapped fruit. Fruits that treated with SA (0.5 mM) and covered with cellophane film had the lowest TSS while treated fruit with CaCl2 (1%) with no cover indicated the highest TSS. Generally, there was a significant decrease in fruit firmness under the cellophane layer compare to unpacked fruits while in treated fruit with CaCl2 (1%) firmness in packed fruit was obviously higher than unpacked fruits. The best visual quality and taste were obtained in treated fruit with CaCl2 (2%), followed by SA (0.5 mM) when they were packed with cellophane film. The highest shelf life obtained in treated fruit with SA (0.1 mM), followed by NaHCO3 (0.5%). Overall, a combination of chemical treatments and packaging with cellophane film improved fruit quality and extend shelf life significantly compared to the control. 


Ali, S., T. Masud, T. Mahmood, and K. Sarfraz Abbasi. 2013. Influence of CaCl2 on Physico-chemical, Sensory and Microbial Quality of Apricot cv. Habi at Ambient Storage. J. Chem. Biol. Physic. Sci.3(4):2748-2758.

Antunes, M.D.C., M.P. Correia, M.G. Miguel, M.A. Martins, and M.A. Neves. 2003. The Effect of Calcium Chloride Postharvest Application on Fruit Storage Ability and Quality of 'Beliana' and 'Lindo' Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Cultivars, Acta Hort. 604:721-726.

Barger, W.R .1928. Sodium Bicarbonate as a Citrus Fruit Disinfectant. Calif. Citrogr. 13(164):172–174.

Błaszczyk J. 2010. Influence of Harvest Date and Storage Conditions on the Changes of Selected Qualitative Conditions of ‘Concorde’ Pears. J. Fruit Ornam. Plant Res. 18(2):211-221.

Botondi R., D. Desantis, A. Bellincontro, K. Vizovitis and F. Mencarelli. 2003. Influence of ethylene inhibition by 1-methylcyclopropene on apricot quality, volatile production, and glycosidase activity of low- and high-aroma varieties of apricots. J. Agr. Food Chem. 51(5):1189-1200.

Botondi R., R. Massantini, A. Crisa, and F. Mencarelli. 1999. Effect of Low Oxygen for 9 D at 5 and 18 ◦C on Postharvest Quality of Ripe Apricots. Ital. J. Food Sci. 11(3):207–220.

Burg S.P. and E.A. Burg. 1967. Molecular Requirements for Biological Activity of Ethylene. Plant Physiol. 42(1):144-152.

Cappellini R.A. and M.J. Ceponis. 1984. Postharvest Losses in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables In: H.E., Moline (Ed.), Postharvest pathology of fruits and vegetables: postharvest losses in perishable crops, Univ. Calif. Bull. 24–30.

Chan Z. and S. Tian. 2006. Induction of H2O2-Metabolizing Enzymes and total Protein Synthesis by Antagonist and Salicylic Acid in Harvested Sweet Cherry Fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 39(3):314-320.

De Martino G., R. Massantini, R. Botondi, and F. Mencarelli. 2002. Temperature Affects Impact Injury on Apricot Fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 25(2):145-149.

De Martino G., K. Vizovitis, R. Botondi, A. Bellincontro, and F. Mencarelli. 2006. 1-MCP Controls Ripening Induced by Impact Injury on Apricots by Affecting SOD and POX Activities. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 39(1):38-47.

Fatemi H., S. Mohammadi, and M.H. Aminifard. 2013. Effect of Postharvest Salicylic Acids Treatment on Fungal Decay and Some Postharvest Quality Factors of Kiwi Fruit. Archives Phytopathol. Plant Prot. 46(11):1338-1345.

Ganji moghadam, E. and Z. Shikh-eslami. 2006. Effect of Harvesting Time and Shelf Life on Quantitative and Qualitative Characteristics of Apricot (cv. Shahroudi). J. Agr. Eng. Res.(In Persian). 6(25):31-44.

Gonzalez-Aguilar G.A., R. Cruz, R. Baez, and C.Y. Wang. 1999. Storage Quality of Bell Peppers Pretreated with Hot Water and Polyethylene Packaging. J. Food Quality. 22(3):287-299.

Hajilou J. and S. Fakhimrezaei. 2013. Effects of Post-Harvest Calcium Chloride or Salicylic Acid Treatments on the Shelf-Life and Quality of Apricot Fruit. J. Hort. Sci. Biotechnol. 88(5):600-604.

Hong P.,   W. Hao,   J. Luo, S. Chen, M. Hu, and G. Zhong. 2014. Combination of Hot Water, Bacillus Amyloliquefaciens HF-01 and Sodium Bicarbonate Treatments to Control Postharvest Decay of Mandarin Fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 88:96-102.

 Ibrahim F.E. 2005. Effect of Postharvest Treatments on Storage Ability and Keeping Quality of Amaar Apricot Fruits. Annals Agr. Sci., Moshtohors. 43(2):849-867.

Ishaq S., Rathore H.A., Masud T., and S. Ali. 2009. Influence of Postharvest Calcium Chloride Application, Ethylene Absorbent and Modified Atmosphere on Quality Characteristics and Shelf Life of Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Fruit during Storage. Pak. J. Nutr. 8(6):861-865.

Jan I. and A. Rab. 2012. Influence of Storage Duration on Physico-Chemical Changes in Fruit of Apple Cultivars. J. Anim. Plant Sci. 22(3):708-714. 

Kader A.A. 2002. Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops. Third edition. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 3311, 535p.

Kazemi M., M. Aran and S. Zamani. 2011. Effect of Calcium Chloride and Salicylic Acid Treatments on Quality Characteristics of Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa cv. Hayward) during Storage. American J. Plant Physiol. 6(3):183-189.

Koyuncu M.A. and A. Can. 2000. A Research on Modified Atmosphere (MA) Storage of Some Apricot Cultivars. Ondokuzmayis Universitesi, Ziraat Fakultesi Dergisi (In Turkish). 15(1):54-62.

Lu X., D. Sun, Y. Li, W. Shi and G. Sun. 2011. Pre- and Post-Harvest Salicylic Acid Treatments Alleviate Internal Browning and Maintain Quality of Winter Pineapple Fruit. Scientia Hort. 130:97-101.

Mahajan B.V.C., N.P. Singh, and M. Kumar. 2013. Effect of Different Packaging Films on Shelf Life and Quality of Pear Fruits under Supermarket Condition. Hort. Flora. Rese. Spectrum. 2(1):68-71.

Mahmoud G.A.,  G.A. Mohamed, H.W. Botrosb and M.A. Sabri. 2011. Combined Effect of Gamma Radiation, Hot Water And Sodium Bicarbonate on Quality and Chemical Constituents of Stored Mandarin Fruits. Arch. Phytopathol. Plant Protection. 44(11):1115-1127.

Majidi H., S. Minaei, M. Almasi and Y. Mostofi. 2011. Total Soluble Solids, Titratable Acidity and Ripening Index of Tomato in Various Storage Conditions. Aust. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 5(12):1723-1726.

Manganaris G.A., M. Vasilakakis, G. Diamantidis and I. Mignani. 2007. The Effect of Postharvest Calcium Application on Tissue Calcium Concentration, Quality Attributes, Incidence of Flesh Browning and Cell Wall Physicochemical Aspects of Peach Fruits. Food Chem. 100(4):1385-1392.

Martin-Diana A.B., D. Rico, J.M. Frias, J.M. Barat, G.T.M. Henehan and C. Barry-Ryan. 2007. Calcium for Extending the Shelf Life of Fresh Whole and Minimally Processed Fruits and Vegetables: A Review. Trends Food Sci. Tech. 18(4):210-218.

Mencarelli F., A. Bellincontro, R. Forniti, K. Vizovitis, C. DiNatale, R. Botondi, M. Valentini, P. Sequi, B. Basile and R. Romano. 2006. Factors Affecting the Apricot Quality for the Consumer with Special Attention to the Use of 1-MCP and of NDT for Detection of Bruising. Acta Hort. 717:315-320.

Moradinezhad F., M. Khayyat and H. Saeb. 2013. Combination Effects of Postharvest Treatments and Modified Atmosphere Packaging on Shelf Life and Quality of Iranian Pomegranate Fruit cv. Sheshi-Kab. Int. J. Postharvest Technol. Inn. 3(3):244-256.

Moradinezhad F. and M. Khayyat. 2014. Effects of Intermittent Warming and Prestorage Treatments (Hot Water, Salicylic Acid, Calcium Chloride) on Postharvest Life of Pomegranate Fruit cv. Shishe-Kab during Long-Term Cold Storage. Int. J. Hort. Sci. Technol. 1(1):43-51.

Nielsen S.S. 2010. Food Analysis. 4th edition, Springer, Media, LLC.

Pala M., E. Damarli and H. Gun. 1994. The Effects of Modified Atmosphere Packaging on Quality and Storage Life of Apricot. Acta Hort. 368:808-816.

Palou L., J.L. Smilanick, J. Usall and I. Vinas. 2001. Control of Postharvest Blue and Green Molds of Oranges by Hot Water, Sodium Carbonate, and Sodium Bicarbonate. Plant Dis. 85(4):371–376.

Pretel M.T., M. Souty and F. Romojaro. 2000. Use of Passive and Active Modified Atmosphere Packaging to Prolong the Postharvest Life of Three Varieties of Apricot (Prunus armenica L.). Eur. Food Res. Technol. 211(3):191-198.

Ragsdale N.N. and H.D. Sisler. 1994. Social and Political Implications of Managing Plant Diseases with Decreased Availability of Fungicides in the United States. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 32:545–557.

Raskin I. 1992. Salicylate, a new plant hormone. Plant Physiol. 99:799–803.

Saltveit M.E. Jr. 1984. Effects of Temperature on Firmness and Bruising of “Starkrimson Delicious” and “Golden Delicious” Apples. HortScience 19(4):550–551.

Saltveit M.E. 1999. Effect of Ethylene on Quality of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 15(3):279-292.

Souty M., M. Reich, L. Breuils, Y. Chambroy, G. Jacquemin and J.M. Audergon. 1995. Effects of Postharvest Calcium Treatments on Shelf-Life and Quality of Apricot Fruit. Acta Hort. 384:619-624.

Supapvanich S. and S. Promyou. 2013. Efficiency of Salicylic Acid Application on Postharvest Perishable Crops. S. Hayat (Ed.), In: Salicylic acid: Plant Growth and Development. Springer Netherlands. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-6428-6_15.

Tzoutzoukou C.G. and D.L. Bouranis. 1997. Effect of Preharvest Application of Calcium on the Postharvest Physiology of Apricot Fruit. J. Plant Nutr. 20(2-3):295-309.

Williams M.W. 1980. Retention of Fruit Firmness and Increase in Vegetative Growth and Fruit Set of Apples with Aminoethoxyvinylglycine. HortScience 15(1):76-77.

Xu X. and S. Tian. 2008. Salicylic Acid Alleviated Pathogen-Induced Oxidative Stress in Harvested Sweet Cherry Fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 49(3):379-385.

Yao H. and S. Tian. 2005. Effects of Pre-Harvest Application of Salicylic Acid or Methyl Jasmonate on Inducing Disease Resistance of Sweet Cherry Fruit in Storage. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 35(3):253-262.

Zewter A., K. Woldetsadik and T.S. Workneh. 2012. Effect of 1-methylcyclopropene, Potassium Permanganate and Packaging on Quality of Banana. Afr. J. Agr. Res. 7(16):2425-2437.