Cu-chitosan nano-net improves keeping quality of tomato by modulating physio-biochemical responses.Sci Rep. 2020 12 14; 10(1):21914.SR
Minimizing the post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables is one of the challenging tasks in agriculture. To address this issue, we report nano-net of Cu-chitosan nanoparticles (Cu-chitosan NPs) which has the ability to extend the shelf-life of stored tomato. The application of Cu-chitosan NPs (0.01-0.04%) significantly curtailed microbial decay (< 5 versus > 50% in control), physiological loss in weight (14.36 versus 28.13% in control), respiration rate (0.01173 versus 0.01879 g CO2 kg-1 h-1) and maintained fruit firmness (34.0 versus 17.33 N in control) during storage. Further, these NPs significantly retarded loss of titratable acidity, retained total soluble solids, total and reducing sugars, lycopene, ascorbic acid and inhibited polyphenol oxidase. Likewise, NPs effectively preserved L* (lightness), a* (red/green) and b* (blue/yellow) values and maintained organoleptic score. Scanning electron microscopy study confirmed that Cu-chitosan NPs orchestrate into an invisible-intangible nano-net over tomato surface which may plausibly act as a potential barrier at all possible openings (stem scar, cuticle wax, lenticels, and aquaporins) to control microbial infection, moisture loss, gas exchanges and respiration rate. Overall, nano-net extended keeping quality of tomatoes up to 21 days at room temperature (27 ± 2 °C, 55 ± 2% relative humidity).