Use of Natural Products for Post-Harvest Preservation of 'Vega' Cut Roses
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Use of natural products as floral preservatives has helped to reduce the indiscriminate use of chemical products in flower preservation. In this study, we tested the ability of certain natural products to maintain the quality and to increase the commercial durability of 'Vega' cut roses. We employed a randomized factorial design with six post-harvest treatments and four evaluation dates. The following treatments were tested: 1) distilled water; 2) methyl jasmonate (350 mu M) applied in a four-hour pulse; 3) methyl jasmonate (500 mu M) spraying; 4) mint oil (100 ppm); 5) ginger oil (100 ppm); and 6) propolis (0.05%) as a maintenance solution. Flowers were kept at 20+/-2 degrees C and 67+/-3% RH. Physiological and qualitative evaluations were conducted. Natural products had a beneficial effect on the shelf life of the flowers. However, for all evaluated parameters, the methyl jasmonate spray was the most efficient treatment to maintain floral quality, resulting in less fresh-mass loss and a lower flower respiratory rate. Methyl jasmonate spray also improved the maintenance of coloration, relative water content and concentration of reducing sugars, thus extending the shelf life of roses.