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Integration of Biocontrol Agents and Food-Grade Additives for Enhancing Protection of Stored Apples from Penicillium expansum

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Forty-nine compounds currently used as additives in foods were tested in combination with three biocontrol agents, the yeasts Rhodotorula glutinis, Cryptococcus laurentii, and the yeastlike fungus Aureobasidium pullulans, to increase their antagonistic activity against Penicillium expansum, the causal agent of blue mold on apples. Twelve additives dramatically improved the antagonistic activity of one or more of the tested biocontrol agents. In a two-way factorial experiment with these selected additives the percentage of P. expansum rots on apples was significantly influenced by the antagonist and the additive as well as by their interaction. The combination of the biocontrol agents and some additives resulted in a significantly higher activity with respect to the single treatments applied separately, producing additive or synergistic effects. Some of the selected additives combined with a low yeast concentration (106 cells per ml) had comparable or higher efficacy than the biocontrol agents applied alone at a 100-fold higher concentration (108 cells per ml). Some organic and inorganic calcium salts, natural gums, and some antioxidants displayed the best results. In general, the effect of each additive was specific to the biocontrol isolate used in the experiments. Possible mechanisms involved in the activity of these beneficial additives and their potential application in effective formulations of postharvest biofungicides are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Molise, Via F. De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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