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The Use of Chlorine with Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

Written by Janice M on . Posted in Food & Beverage

apples_washChlorination is one of the few options available to combat post-harvest disease. Up to 30% of harvested crops, especially highly perishable items, can be saved by through effective chlorination.

Effective chlorination of harvested crops depends on frequent monitoring of the chlorine solution and an understanding of the factors involved.

To gain background knowledge on the general properties and usage of chlorine, it is recommended that you read this article before continuing:

You may also be interested in: Postharvest Applications:
  • Fruits and vegetables are usually treated in water dump tanks, flumes, spray washers or hydrocoolers to which water is added.
  • Adhering soil and organic debris can greatly reduce / negate any chlorine efficacy, thus it is vital to pre-wash very dirty produce before sending them to flotation tanks, chemical treatment showers or hydrocoolers.
  • Approved surfactants (wetting agents) that are chlorine stable will increase the penetration into small plant contours and increase the effectiveness of chlorination in many instances. Recently, ultrasound has also been used to overcome surface tension of water.
  • Most postharvest processes recirculate used water (process water) to conserve water and energy.
  • Dirt and organic matter can accumulate, so frequent monitoring of the solution is important to ensure efficacy.

Chlorine Concentrations commonly used for Postharvest Sanitation of Fresh Produce

VEGETABLE Free (Available) Chlorine in mg/l
Artichoke 100 – 150
Asparagus 125 – 250
Bell Peppers 150 – 400
Broccoli 100 – 150
Brussel Sprouts 100 – 150
Cabbage (shredded) 100 – 150
Carrots 100 – 200
Cauliflower 100 – 150
Celery 100 – 150
Sweet Corn 75 – 100
Chopped Leafy Greens 100 – 150
Cucumbers 100 – 150
Garlic (peeled) 75 – 150
Lettuce – Iceberg (whole, shredded) 100 – 150
Lettuce (Butterhead) 100 – 150
Lettuce (Romaine) 100 – 150
Melons (all types) 100 – 150
Mushrooms 100 – 150
Onions (green) 100 – 150
Peas (pod-type) 50 – 100
Peppers (chilli or bell) 250 – 400
Potatoes (red or brown) 200 – 300
Potatoes (White) 100 – 250
Pumpkins 100 – 200
Radishes 50 – 150
Spinach 75 – 150
Sweet Potatoes 100 – 150
Squash (all types) 75 – 100
Tomatoes 200 – 350
Turnips 100 – 200
Yams 100 – 200
FRUIT
Apples 100 – 150
Cherries 75 – 100
Grapefruit 100 – 150
Kiwi 75 – 100
Lemon 40 – 75
Oranges 100 – 200
Peaches, Nectarines & Plums 75 – 100
Pears 200 – 300
Prunes 100 – 150
*Chlorination in the production and postharvest handling of fresh fruits and vegetables by Trevor Suslow Extension Specialist Postharvest Pathology, Transportation & Distribution

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Historical comments (2)

  • bocaHickory.com

    |

    This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something
    which helped me. Appreciate it!

    • Janice M

      |

      Great!

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