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Effect of Laser Etching from New Labeling Systems on Fruit and Vegetable Postharvest Decay

Investigators
Plotto, Anne; Narciso, Jan
Institutions
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
2007
End date
2011
Objective
To study the effects of a new laser labeling technique on decay of fruit in storage. Fruit and vegetables that have been imprinted by laser technology will be examined to assess the impact of the laser "injury" on peel integrity in terms of shelf-life and disease.
More information
Approach: Initially, the microflora populations found on experimental fruit will be determined by methods developed in this laboratory. Fruit and vegetables will be labeled using a laser technology which punches microscopic holes in the peel. Labeled and non-labeled fruit will be stored and differences in rates and type of decay will be logged. Later in the study, labeled fruit will be inoculated or exposed to pathogens problematic to the fruit/vegetable in storage (e.g. for citrus fruit, this might be Penicillium digitatum or Geotrichum sp.). The inoculated fruit and non-inoculated fruit will be stored under commercial conditions and decay logged. Results of these studies will be compared with decay studies on commodities which carry traditional paper labels. Data from this study should show commercial fruit packers if exposure to laser label technology accelerates decay or is comparable to paper labeled produce. Information from these studies will be published and made available to growers and packers (fresh fruit and vegetable industry).
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
6621-43000-002-01
Categories
Microbiological Standards and Guidelines