Ozone treatment of stored potato tubers
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During storage, potato tubers are susceptible to different pathogen, which can attack the skin and flesh of the tubers. The most serious damage can be caused by rot inducing bacteria and fungi. A possible way to prevent microbial damage may be the use of ozone in the air ventilated through the stored tubers. However, the tubers can undergo qualitative changes, e.g. dehydration and loss of starch content. This article presents the results of a five-month experiment in which ozone concentration of 5 mg m-3 was periodically introduced in some of the stored potato tubers of the cultivar ‘Dali’. All potato tubers were stored in closed storage boxes with a metal frame and wood panels in the floor and walls (ground area 1.6×1.2 m, height 0.95 m) which were continuously aerated using the ambient air in a potato warehouse. There was 900 kg of tubers stored in the box. At the end of the experiment, the ozonated variant was compared with the control (not treated). The ozone-treated tubers had 2.95 times lower incidence of infection by rot and the number of microorganisms on healthy tubers was lower than the control. The ozone-treated tubers were less frequently dehydrated. The water loss was higher in control by 0.86 %. There was no significant difference in silver scurf manifestation or in the starch content between the two variants.