Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Committee Chair(s)

D. K. Salunkhe


D. K. Salunkhe


Keith R. Allred


Orson S. Cannon


In recent years there has been a considerable amount of work done on developing chemicals that would inhibit mold growth when applied to fresh fruit, and at the same time, be acceptable to man when taken orally. This would save many thousands of tons of fresh produce that are lost each year by spoilage before it ever reaches the consumer. Along with the development of new chemicals to inhibit mold growth there is a substantial amount of research being done on developing a packaging film that will prevent recontamination of the produce, at the same time allowing the passage of gasses into and out of the package to allow respiration of the fruit. During the present century much emphasis has been placed on growing certain varieties of fruit for our specific needs. It has been found that particular varieties are better for canning and that other varieties are better for freezing.

With the release of atomic energy for peaceful use in 1933 by the United States Congress, a new era of food preservation was introduced. Men in the scientific fields believe it is possible to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruits without altering their physical condition to great extent. Many institutions have been awarded grants and contracts to work on various phases of food preservation with atomic energy. Utah State University was awarded a contract by the United States Army Quartermaster Corp to study the use of gamma radiation for extending the shelf-life of fresh produce.

It was with this idea in mind that work for this thesis was conducted to study the effects of gamma radiation, fungicides, and packaging film on the microbial growth on certain varieties of strawberries and cherries. In addition, experiments were conducted using fungicides and packaging films in order to lower the dose of radiation necessary to prevent mold growth. In order for this method of preserving fresh fruit to become successful, new and more economical methods and techniques in handling the materials will have to be developed.



Included in

Horticulture Commons