Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 53–59
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Environmental and

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 53–59

Original Article

Evaluation of microbiological contamination of apple fruit stored in a modified atmosphere

Karina Juhneviča*, Gita Skudra , Liga Skudra
Latvia State Institute of Fruit-Growing, Graudu 1, Dobele LV-3701, Latvia
*Corresponding author, E-mail: karina.juhnevica@lvai.lv


The quality of fruit during storage depends on the storage environment and fruit microorganisms, since the activity of microorganisms can cause fruit decay. Properly chosen composition of the gas mixture in the storage environment prolongs storage time by reducing development of microorganisms, ensuring their microbiological safety. The aim of the study was to evaluate five apple cultivars during and after storage for five months in controlled modified atmospheric conditions. The highest microbial diversity on the apple fruit surface was found when stored in a cooler in a conventional atmosphere, suggesting that these conditions were not suitable for apple fruit storgae. A modified atmosphere reduced the development of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. The total amount of bacteria was reduced by 50% in the used modified atmosphere, in comparison to samples stored in a cooler. The proportion of moulds increased three-fold in control samples, but their number in the modified atmosphere did not change significantly. Storage of apple fruits in a Ultra Low Oxygen 2 chamber with 1.5% O2 and 2.5% CO2 appeared to be most prospective for several commercial apple cultivars. In particular, cultivars ‘Auksis’ and ‘Orlik’ showed the least proportion of damaged fruit after storage in these conditions.

Key words: apple fruit, controlled modified atmosphere, microbiological contamination.

Env Exp Biol (2011) 9: 53–59
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh

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University of Latvia

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