Dec 11, 2020
CBD postharvest treatment maintains quality, extends shelf life of strawberries

A new study indicates treating strawberries with CBD oil lengthens shelf life and reduces microbial load.

University of South Florida researchers have found the non-intoxicating cannabinoid has the potential to reduce microbial growth and extend the shelf life of strawberries.

The research team wanted to test the potential antimicrobial effects of CBD by adding oil drops on strawberries after they were harvested. They found CBD reduced the microbial load on the strawberries, inhibiting yeast and mould growth, while increasing shelf life.

The study findings:

• CBD oil has promising potential as an antimicrobial treatment to fresh produce.• Treating strawberries with CBD oil lengthens shelf life and reduces microbial load.

• CBD oil inhibited yeast and mold growth on strawberries.

Strawberries treated with CBD oil had better overall quality compared to non-tread fruit.

According to the researchers, cannabis has been used in ancient medicine to treat a wide array of medical issues. Specifically, Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, has been linked to containing antimicrobial properties.

However, research surrounding the potential use of CBD as an antimicrobial agent is still preliminary. This study aims to examine the potential of CBD oil as a postharvest treatment used by consumers at home to reduce microbial growth and extend the shelf life of strawberries.

CBD oil was applied to fresh fruit after harvest followed by storage at 1 °C for 8 days and 10° C for to eight days. Strawberries were evaluated for visual quality and microbial load before and during storage.

Results from this study showed that CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance of strawberries, above the minimum threshold of a visual rating score of 3, compared to the fruit that was not treated.

It was also found that CBD oil was effective at reducing the microbial load on treated strawberries compared to fruit that was not treated. This research shows that CBD oil has the potential to be used by consumers at home as an effective antimicrobial treatment and to extend strawberry shelf life.

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