Many studies have elucidated the important role of carotenoids in promoting human health due to their high antioxidant properties. The consumption of these compounds via carotenoid-rich foods has proven to be inversely correlated to the incidence of chronic diseases. This work aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of post-harvest UV-B treatment in order to improve carotenoid content in persimmon fruits. The fruits were harvested at commercial maturity and placed into climatic chambers equipped with UV-B lamps (1.69 W.m-2). This radiation was applied for 48 hours and fruits were sampled at 24, 36 and 48 hours on each treatment. Control fruits were keeped in the same condition without UV-B radiation. HPLC analysis was performed to separate and identify carotenoid compounds. From 36 hours was observed a stimulation of carotenoid synthesis, with the major component -cryptoxanthin undergoing the highest increase (+41.56%) at 48 hours of UV-B treatment. Total carotenoid content varied from 346.28 mg.kg-1 at time zero to 374 mg.kg-1 after 48 hours of UV-B radiation. The results presented in this work indicate that irradiation with UV-B in post-harvest is an effective tool to modulate the concentration of health-promoting compounds in persimmon fruits.
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