Storage of guavas cv. Pedro Sato coated with low molecular weight chitosans

Abstract Guava is a highly perishable fruit due to its rapid metabolism during maturation, suffering a loss of firmness a few days after harvesting, which prevents its storage for long periods. Thus there is great interest in the development of new types of packaging that extend its useful life, providing desirable sensory and nutritional characteristics. This study investigated the softening of “Pedro Sato” guavas subjected to treatment with chitosan films of different molecular weights (132, 228 and 245 kDa), at concentrations of 0.5% and 1.5%. Thus the loss of mass, firmness, pectin content and activities of the hydrolytic enzymes pectin methylesterase and β-D-glucosidase were evaluated for eight days of storage at room temperature. The results showed that the product treated with chitosan 245kDa at a concentration of 1.5% showed lower weight loss and loss of soluble pectin content, as well as greater firmness and total pectin content, as compared to the other treatments. The treatment with chitosan 245 kDa at a concentration of 0.5% resulted in lower activities of the hydrolytic enzymes analyzed. When compared with the control, the treatments with chitosan at different concentrations were effective in maintaining the postharvest quality of guavas, extending their life by eight days.