Effect of Hexanal Formulations on the Postharvest Quality and Gene Expression of Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.).
Food waste is a major concern with the growing world population. Research was conducted using hexanal based formulations to improve the shelf-life of strawberry. Pre-harvest sprays of the Enhanced Freshness Formulation (EFF) were applied to field grown strawberries. The applications had minimal effect on characteristics such as blemishes per fruit, firmness and weight change. Greenhouse grown strawberries were treated postharvest with hexanal vapour and did show minimal improvements to shelf-life although a cultivar effect was observed. qRT-PCR was performed on five cultivars that received a pre-harvest treatment of EFF. Different genes were assessed including cell wall and membrane modifying enzymes, ripening related transcription factors, and ethylene related proteins. EFF application altered expression of both membrane and ethylene related genes. When control treated fruit were analyzed for expression changes throughout development, results indicated cultivar differences as previously reported. In summary hexanal application had minimal effects on strawberry postharvest quality.