Increasing evidence defined the benefits of post-harvest ozone (O3) application on edible horticultural. Since ozone quickly degrades, the ozone post-harvest treatment also represents an attractive tool in the ongoing food/environment-safety quest. Ozone (applied as gaseous ozone in the air of a cold storage room or as ozonated water) has been reported to induce specific responses in stored fruits and vegetables, including the oxidation of ethylene, the production of health-promoting compounds (eg, antioxidants) and the control of pathogen/physiological diseases.
However recent findings have shown that the post-harvest mechanism of ozone is complex and involves various processes. Thus it is essential to establish ozone-based networking activities of the scientific and engineering community at the national and international level in order to improve the post harvest handling of edible horticultural products.
The objective of this project is to develop a set of post harvest ozone treatments in order to control horticultural products quality, in terms of pathogen, chemical residues and antioxidants-related compounds. Secondly, this work aims to provide insights into ozone mode of action by analysing genes and protein expression changes in response to ozone. Finally, the project wishes to establish a dynamic cooperation among research teams and network in the field of post harvest ozone application.
This study involves three workpackages (WK) dealing with the impact of ozone treatments on various aspects of kiwifruit and apple postharvest behavior (WK1 and WK3, respectively) and the storage of fresh cuts vegetables (WK2).
Expected results. The project will have the following three different types of results:
- Development of specific ozone treatments/technology in the horticultural industry.
- Improvement of the quality and safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Global view on the molecular mechanism involved in ozone post harvest action.