One of the main causes of cherry tomato postharvest loss are diseases caused by food-contaminating fungi. Currently, the use of fungicides is the main strategy to control the contamination caused by different types of fungi, but these treatments can cause side effects such as environmental contamination, impacts on human health, and the development of resistance by pathogenic strains, which have generated the need to develop new alternatives to replace the use of synthetic chemicals. Edible coatings (ECs) can preserve the quality of this crop and can serve as carriers of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), which have demonstrated inhibitory potential against phytopathogenic fungi. The effectiveness of the LAB strain Lactiplantibacillus plantarum A6 incorporated into an EC based on exopolysaccharide from Weissella confusa JCA4 on the physicochemical and microbiological quality of cherry tomato was evaluated.The fruit were artificially inoculated with the fungi Aspergillus niger, Fusarium sp., and Rhizopus stolonifer to test the antifungal potential of the coating. The physicochemical and microbiological quality of cherry tomato was studied at two storage temperatures to calculate its shelf life.
L. plantarum A6 remained viable both in the solution and on the surface of the fruit after coating, protecting the fruit against two of the three evaluated fungi (Fusarium sp. and Rhizopus stolonifer). The EC controlled weight loss, maintained firmness, and slowed the respiration rate of cherry tomato; the other physicochemical properties and the appearance of the fruit were not negatively affected. EPS composite coating containing L. plantarum A6 as antifungal agent could be a promising industrial treatment to control fungal deterioration and maintain the postharvest quality of tomatoes.
Food scientist and engineering degree from Universidad del Valle, Cali – Colombia. He has research experience in applied food research, food microbiology, liquid and solid state fermentation, management of microorganisms for commercial use, flavor and fragrance biotechnology. His main investigation topic is the postharvest technology and decay control of fruits and vegetables with the use of lactic acid bacteria. Currently, he is a research team member engineer of flavor and fragance biotechnology at La Tour S.A. He has participated as ponent in different conferences in food science and flavor technology, and with poster presentations. He has published in food microbiology and food science and technology journals.