ABSTRACT The effects of heat stress (HS) and ultra low oxygen (ULO) in controlled (CA) or modified (MA) atmosphere on chestnut (Castanea sativa L. cv. Rodiana) fruit quality and storability were investigated. Chestnuts exposed to ULO (1% O2 for 1 h) or dipped in water bath (at 55?C for 15 min) and then stored to CA or MA conditions at 6?C for up to 90 days. The HS dipping and storage in CA or MA increased sprouting (up to 60%) as well as mould severe on chestnuts com-paring with the control. In MA conditions, HS and ULO increased respiration rate. Total starch content increased (up to 30%) in MA-HS and MA-ULO treatments comparing with the control the first 60 days of storage. The first 30 days of CA and MA storage, chestnut moisture content decreased. No major differences observed in total sugar, total fat and total phenolic content as well as in the incidence of hole with or without worm in chestnut fruit. Following sensory evaluation, 57% of panelist marked differences among treatments, while the greater preference (67%) observed in chestnut treated with HS and stored in MA. Additionally, MA-HS enhanced (up to 30%) the chestnut appearance while no difference observed in aroma, sweetness and texture among treatments and storage conditions. Thus, the impacts of HS on chestnuts maintain fruit quality, with benefits in CA storage, as increased panelists’ preference.
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