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Extending the life of fresh cranberries
Date:9/29/2008

KENTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA Cranberries are tart, tiny fruits packed with powerful antioxidants. The small, red berries offer a wide variety of health benefits. Not only are cranberries a healthy, low-calorie snack, but they can also play a significant role in preventing urinary tract infections, reducing the risk of gum disease and much more. In fact, studies show that the significant amounts of antioxidants in cranberries may help protect against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

The good news about cranberries is spreading, resulting in growing consumer demand for fresh cranberries and cranberry products. This demand has led to increased interest in finding ways to extend the shelf life of the popular fruit. Setting out to determine the optimum conditions for storing fresh cranberries, Charles F. Forney. a research scientist in Postharvest Physiology at the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, conducted a study of fresh cranberries and their postharvest life. Forney's study was published in the April 2008 issue of HortScience.

The research study was conducted over three seasons to determine the relationship of temperature and humidity on fresh cranberries. The objectives of the study were to determine how temperature and relative humidity affect cranberry storage life, and to assess the "chilling sensitivity" of cranberries.

To obtain vital information about storage conditions, cranberries were harvested from four commercial bogs and stored at temperatures ranging from 0 to 10 C in combination with relative humidities ranging from 75% to 98%. According to Dr. Forney, "Fruit were stored under these conditions for up to six months and were evaluated monthly for marketability, decay, physiological breakdown, weight loss, and firmness immediately after removal and after an additional week at 20 C. The percentage of marketable fruit declined substantially over time in all storage conditi
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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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