Pg. 46-48 The effect of modified atmosphere packaging and post-harvest treatments on the microbial population of litchi fruit

Diverse genera of bacteria, fungi and yeasts occur on fruit surfaces. These microbial communities play a vital roll in the ecological balance on the fructoplane. The application of post-harvest treatments may disturb this balance resulting in development of infections on the fruit. Therefore investigating the dynamics of these communities in relation to the application of post-harvest treatments is crucial in understanding the relationship between epiphytic micro-organisms and plant diseases. In view of this the microbial dynamics of the litchi fruit after application of different post-harvest treatments were studied on both Mauritius and McLean’s Red litchis in the 2006/07 season. Microbial counts of bacteria, fungi and yeasts were monitored at 14, 21 and 30 days after treatment. Results indicate that the populations of all three organisms have changed through the simulated export storage period.

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