Conclusions

Interest in alternative methods for postharvest decay control of horticultural crops in order to minimize pre- or postharvest treatments with agrochemicals has been growing continuously. Prestorage heat treatment is one of the most promising and simple technologies to reduce rot development on fresh harvested fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed products. However, further research is needed to determine the most heat-sensitive life-stage of disease-causing agents of economic importance and to obtain the intrinsic kinetics information of this life stage for developing hot water treatment protocols. There is also a special need to obtain information regarding time-temperature effects on the quality of fresh harvest produce. A better understanding of both direct and indirect modes of action of heat treatments on pathogens and on fresh produce tissue will enable development of optimal, successful, and relatively cheap hot water dip or rinsing treatments and equipment that will control decay-causing agents without affecting the overall quality of the fruit or vegetable.

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