Biologically-Based Alternatives to Synthetic Fungicides for the Control of Postharvest diseases of Fruit and Vegetables



Considerable amounts of fruits and vegetables are lost to spoilage after harvest. This loss can range from 10–50% depending on the commodity and country. Presently, synthetic fungicides are the primary means of controlling postharvest diseases of fruits and vegetables. Public concern over food safety, however, has enhanced interest to find effective alternatives to fungicides to control postharvest diseases of fruits and vegetables. Currently, several promising biological approaches that include microbial antagonists, naturally-occuring antifungal compounds, and induced resistance have been advanced as potential alternatives to synthetic fungicides for postharvest disease control. Among the proposed alternatives, the use of antagonistic microorganisms and chitosan as a pre-storage treatment of fruit and vegetables has been the most studied and substantial progress has been made in these areas. Unfortunately, the efficacy of some biological control antagonists evaluated under simulated and actual commercial conditions has been irregular unless they are combined with other treatments, such as low rates of fungicides. The fundamental basis, the potential, and the limitations of the different biological approaches and the advantages of a multifaceted strategy will be presented.


Citrus Fruit Botrytis Cinerea Biocontrol Activity Postharvest Disease Chitosan Coating 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculte des Sciences et TechniquesUniversite De NouakchottMauritanie
  2. 2.Appalachian Fruit Research StationUSDA-ARSKearneysville

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