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Improvement of natural resistance in fruit

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Natural preservative defence mechanism

Resveratrol is a chemical substance secreted by many plants as a response of their defence mechanism. The "FRUTA FRESCA" project advances the use of this substance as a natural pesticide for fruits preservation.

Health

Most of the fruits are grown and harvested during a relatively small period of time. However, the market demands availability for much longer periods. Due to this fact, the fruits have to be preserved and stored for a period of time before they are released to the market. The traditional preservation techniques consist of storage under controlled environmental conditions along with the use of synthetic pesticides. Nevertheless, a large quantity of these fruits become infected and cannot be sold. The "FRUTA FRESCA" project proposes a revolutionary solution for fruits preservation that is based on substances that are secreted by the plant's natural defence system. One of these substances is resveratrol, a naturally occurring phenolic compound found in many plants. It has been noticed that especially in grapes the resveratrol concentration alters during pathogen attack. A systematic observation conducted during various infections, revealed that when grapes are under an infectious attack, resveratrol is the most important defence mechanism of the plant. This clear correlation between the resveratrol content and the health status of the grapes led the project's research team to test the exogenous resveratrol application as a preservation method for grapes and other fruits. The results prove that resveratrol is an excellent natural pesticide. The treated fruits have been maintained unaffected, unspoiled and un-dehydrated at least two times longer than the untreated ones. Resveratrol has significant advantages compared to the traditional synthetic chemical pesticide. Apart from the excellent preservation results, it is a natural product and its usage as a pesticide has no side effects. On the contrary a number of studies correlate resveratrol having antioxidant properties, being beneficial for the treatment of various human diseases such as skin infection, heart problems and cancer.

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