Par Georgia Ouzounidou, Fragiskos Gaitis
This study is exploring the effects of nano-copper postharvest spraying on parsley, stored at the market temperature of 20°oC for 10 days and at the storage temperature of 5oC for 23 days, aiming at its shelf life extension. Nano-Cu- treated plants showed significantly lower CO2 production than control at both storage temperatures. Spraying with Nano-Cu, parsley displayed the lowest weight losses at high and low temperature. Parsley leaves revealed high respiration rates with high moisture loss, which was inhibited by the application of Nano-Cu. Nano-Cu was also able to protect samples from lipid peroxidation after 23 days, since they were found to contain lower levels of MDA than control samples, while Nano-Cu treated parsley retained significantly higher ascorbic acid concentrations than the control. Nano-Cu application induced a prevention of the disturbances in the photosynthetic electron transport and the damages to the thylakoid structure occurring during storage. In addition, an inhibitory effect of Nano-Cu on yeast growth and TVC was observed. Spraying of harvested parsley with Nano-Cu seems like a promising shelf life extension technique, although attention should be given on the possible ecotoxicity of its widespread use.