Application of Nanoemulsions of Thyme and Peppermint Essential Oils with Carboxymethyl Cellulose Coating on Postharvest Longevity of Strawberry

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of food science and engineering, faculty of agriculture, university of Kurdistan


ABSTRACT: Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) is susceptible to postharvest fungal agents. Therefore, the application of suitable methods such as essential oils (EOs) and edible coatings to control the fruit decay and maintain the quality of strawberry fruit during the postharvest period is necessary. However, the application of EOs is limited due to low water solubility, high vapor pressure and physical and chemical instability. In the current study, thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) and peppermint (Mentha longifolia) EOs were extracted, and their nanoemulsion prepared by the spontaneous emulsification method. In the next step, layer-by-layer method was applied for coating of strawberries fruit surface with the prepared nanoemulsions and with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). The quality attributes and post-harvest wastes of fruits were evaluated during storage period at 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 days. According to the results, the combination of EOs nanoemulsion with CMC decreased fruit microbial growth during the storage period. The decay index of the control sample, nanoemulsion of peppermint EO 0.5% + CMC 0.5%, and nanoemulsion of thyme EO 0.5% + CMC 0.5% were 25, 16.7, and 13.3%; respectively. Also, the samples coated with nanoemulsion of EOs with CMC had lower weight loss percentage as well as firmer texture than strawberries without coating (control treatment). On the other hand, antioxidant activity and soluble solid content of coated fruits were better retained than the control sample. In general, the treatments have a high potential to maintain fruit quality and decrease postharvest losses of strawberry fruit.


Aali, E., Mahmoudi, R., Kazeminia, M., Hazrati, R., & Azarpey, F. (2017). Essential oils as natural medicinal substances. Tehran University Medical Journal TUMS Publications, 75(7), 480-489.
Ahmadi, O. & Jafarizadeh-Malmiri, H. (2020). Green approach in food nanotechnology based on subcritical water: effects of thyme oil and saponin on characteristics of the prepared oil in water nanoemulsions. Food Science and Biotechnology, 29, 783-792.
Amal, S.H.A., El-Mogy, M.M., Aboul-Anean, H.E. & Alsanius, B.W. (2010). Improving strawberry fruit storability by edible coating as a carrier of thymol or calcium chloride. Journal of Horticultural Science and Ornamental Plants, 2(3), 88-97.
Anton, N. & Vandamme, T.F. (2009). The universality of low-energy nano-emulsification. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 377(1-2), 142-147.
AOAC. 1995. Official Methods of Analysis. 16th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Virginia, USA.
AOAC. 2002. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in vitamin preparations and juices: 2, 6 dichloroindophenol titrimetric method final action. Association of Official Analytical Chemists Official Method, 4 (967), 21.
Arnon, H., Zaitsev, Y., Porat, R. & Poverenov, E. (2014). Effects of carboxymethyl cellulose and chitosan bilayer edible coating on postharvest quality of citrus fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 87, 21-26.
Assis, J.S., Maldonado, R., Muñoz, T., Escribano, M.A.I. & Merodio, C. (2001). Effect of high carbon dioxide concentration on PAL activity and phenolic contents in ripening cherimoya fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 23(1), 33-39.
Ayala-Zavala, J.F., Wang, S.Y., Wang, C.Y. & González-Aguilar, G.A. (2004). Effect of storage temperatures on antioxidant capacity and aroma compounds in strawberry fruit. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 37(7), 687-695.
Ben, J. & Gaweda, M. (1985). Changes of pectic compounds in Jonathan apples under various storage conditions. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 7: 45-54
Caner, C., Aday, M.S. & Demir, M. (2008). Extending the quality of fresh strawberries by equilibrium modified atmosphere packaging. European Food Research and Technology, 227(6), 1575-1583.
Davazdahemami, S. & Majnoonhosini, N. (2008). Cultivation and production of certain herbs and species. Tehran University. (in Farsi).
Dong, F. & Wang, X. (2017). Effects of carboxymethyl cellulose incorporated with garlic essential oil composite coatings for improving quality of strawberries. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 104, 821-826.
Elshamy, S., Khadizatul, K., Uemura, K., Nakajima, M. & Neves, M.A. (2021). Chitosan-based film incorporated with essential oil nanoemulsion foreseeing enhanced antimicrobial effect. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 58(9), 3314-3327.
Enayatifard, R., Akbari, J., Babaei, A., Rostamkalaei, S.S., Hashemi, S.M. H. & Habibi, E. (2021). Anti-microbial potential of nano-emulsion form of essential oil obtained from aerial parts of Origanum vulgare L. as Food Additive. Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 11(2), 327-334.
Gago, C., Antão, R., Dores, C., Guerreiro, A., Miguel, M.G., Faleiro, M.L., Figueiredo, A.C., Antunes, M.D. (2020) The effect of nanocoatings enriched with essential Oils on ‘Rocha’ pear long storage. Foods, 9 (2), 240.
Gao, P., Zhu, Z. & Zhang, P. (2013). Effects of chitosan–glucose complex coating on postharvest quality and shelf life of table grapes. Carbohydrate Polymers, 95(1), 371-378.
Giusti, M.M. & Wrolstad, R.E. (2003). Acylated anthocyanins from edible sources and their application in food systems. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 14(3), 217-225.
Gol, N.B., Patel, P.R. & Rao, T.V.R. (2013). Improvement of quality and shelf-life of strawberries with edible coatings enriched with chitosan. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 85: 185-195.
Hernandez-Munoz, P., Almenar, E., Valle, V. Del, Velez, D. & Gavara, R. (2008). Effect of chitosan coating combined with postharvest calcium treatment on strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) quality during refrigerated storage. Food Chemistry, 110(2), 428–435.
Hu, Y. & Xu, J. (2005). Free radical-scavenging activity of Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) extracts by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. Food Chemistry, 91(1), 85-90.
Hussain, P.R., Suradkar, P.P., Wani, A.M. & Dar, M.A. (2016). Potential of carboxy methyl cellulose and γ-irradiation to maintain quality and control disease of peach fruit. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 82, 114-126.
Kodituwakku, T.D.; Ekanayake, G.C.M.; Abeywickrama, K.P.; Jayakody, R. (2020) In vitro antifungal effi cacy of selected essential oils in controllingfungi associated with the stem-end rot disease of mango (cv. Karutha Colomban) fruits and characterisation of antifungal components. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (JNSF), 48, 101–111.
Komaiko, J. & McClements, D.J. (2015). Low-energy formation of edible nanoemulsion by spontaneous emulsification, factors affecting particle size. Journal of Food Engineering, 146, 122-128.
Koushesh Saba, M. & Sogvar, O.B. (2016). Combination of carboxy methyl cellulose-based coatings with calcium and ascorbic acid impacts in browning and quality of fresh-cut apples. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 66, 165-171.
Kumar, S., Kumar, R., Nambi, V.E. & Gupta, R.K. (2014). Postharvest changes in antioxidant capacity, enzymatic activity and microbial profile of strawberry fruits treated with enzymatic and divalent ions. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 7(7), 2060-2070.
Lee, S.K. & Kader, A.A. (2000). Pre harvest and post harvest factors influencing vitamin C content of horticultural crops. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 20(3), 207-220.
Li, D., Luo, Z., Mou, W., Wang, Y., Ying, T. & Mao, L. (2014). ABA and UV-C effects on quality, antioxidant capacity and anthocyanin contents of strawberry fruit (Fragaria ananassa Duch.). Postharvest Biology and Technology, 90, 56-62.
Marandi, R.J., Hassani, A., Ghosta, Y., Abdollahi, A., Pirzad, A. & Sefidkon, F. (2010). Thymus kotschyanus and Carum copticum essential oils as botanical preservatives for table grape. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 4(22), 2424-2430.
Mditshwa, A., Magwaza, L.S., Tesfay, S.Z. & Opara, U.L. (2017). Postharvest factors affecting vitamin C content of citrus fruits: A review. Scientia Horticulturae, 218, 95-104.
Meng, F.B., Gou, Z.Z., Li, Y.C., Zou, L.H., Chen, W.J. & Liu, D.Y. (2022). The Efficiency of Lemon Essential Oil-Based Nanoemulsions on the Inhibition of Phomopsis sp. and Reduction of Postharvest Decay of Kiwifruit. Foods, 11(10), 1510.
Nikravan, L., Maktabi, S., Ghaderi Ghahfarrokhi, M. & Mahmoodi Sourestani, M. (2021). The comparison of antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of essential oil of Oliveria decumbens and its nanoemulsion preparation to apply in food industry. Iranian Veterinary Journal, 17(3), 78-87.
Nunan, K.J., Sims, I.M., Bacic, A., Robinson, S.P. & Fincher, G.B. (1998). Changes in cell wall composition during ripening of grape berries. Plant Physiology, 118(3), 783-792.
Oliveira, J., Parisi, M.C.M., Baggio, J.S., Silva, P.P.M., Paviani, B., Spoto, M.H.F., & Gloria, E.M. (2019). Control of Rhizopus stolonifer in strawberries by the combination of essential oil with carboxymethylcellulose. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 292, 150-158.
Oluwaseun, AC., Kayode, A., Bolajoko, FO. & Bunmi, A.J. (2013). Effects of coatings on storability of carrot under evaporative coolant system. Albanian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 12(3), 485-493.
Ozogul, Y., Yuvka, Y., Ucar, Y., Durmus, M., Kösker, A.R., Öz, M. & Ozogul, F. (2017). Evaluation of effects of nanoemulsion based on herb essential oils (rosemary, laurel, thyme and sage) on sensory, chemical and microbiological quality of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fillets during ice storage. LWT, 75, 677-684.
Patras, A., Brunton, N.P., Da Pieve, S. & Butler, F. (2009). Impact of high-pressure processing on total antioxidant activity, phenolic, ascorbic acid, anthocyanin content and colour of strawberry and blackberry purezes. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, 10(3), 308-313.
Pavela, R., Žabka, M., Vrchotová, N. & Tříska, J. (2018). Effect of foliar nutrition on the essential oil yield of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Industrial Crops and Products, 112, 762-765.
Pelayo, C., Ebeler, S. &. Kader, A. (2003). Postharvest life and flavor quality of three strawberry cultivars kept at 5 °C in air or air + 20 kPa CO2. Posharvest Biology and Technology, 27(2), 171-183.
Perdones, A., Sánchez-González, L., Chiralt, A. & Vargas, M. (2012). Effect of chitosan–lemon essential oil coatings on storage-keeping quality of strawberry. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 70, 32-41.
Pérez, A.G., Sanz, C., Ríos, J.J., Olias, R. & Olías, J.M. (1999). Effects of ozone treatment on postharvest strawberry quality. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 47(4), 1652-1656.
Perez-Gregorio, M.R., Garcia-Falcon, M.S. & Simal-Gandara, J. (2011). Flavonoids changes in fresh-cut onions during storage in different packaging systems. Food Chemistry, 124(2), 652-658.
Romanazzi, G., Feliziani, E., Santini, M. & Landi, L. (2013). Effectiveness of postharvest treatment with chitosan and other resistance inducers in the control of storage decay of strawberry. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 75, 24-27.
Saavedra, G.M., Figueroa, N.E., Poblete, L.A., Cherian, S. & Figueroa, C.R. (2016). Effects of preharvest applications of methyl jasmonate and chitosan on postharvest decay, quality and chemical attributes of Fragaria chiloensis fruit. Food Chemistry, 190, 448-453.
Sadeghi, E., Dargahi, A., Mohammadi, A., Asadi, F. & Sahraee, S. (2015). Antimicrobial effect of essential oils: a systematic review. Food Hygiene, 5(2), 1-26 (In Farsi).
Sampaio, C.I., Bourbon, A.I., Gonçalves, C., Pastrana, L.M., Dias, A.M. & Cerqueira, M.A. (2022). Low energy nanoemulsions as carriers of thyme and lemon balm essential oils. LWT, 154, 112748.
Sayyari, M., Babalar, M., Kalantari, S., Serrano, M. & Valero, D. (2009). Effect of salicylic acid treatment on reducing chilling injury in stored pomegranates. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 53(3), 152-154.
Seifi, F., Farzaneh, M., Rafati, H. & Rezadoost, H. (2014). Antifungal potency of some medicinal plants essential oils nano-emulsions to control soft rot in strawberry fruit caused by Rhizopus stolonifer. Biocontrol in Plant Protection, 2(1), 69-79 (In Farsi).
Selcuk, N. & Erkan, M. (2015). Changes in phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of sour-sweet pomegranates cv. ‘Hicaznar’during long-term storage under modified atmosphere packaging. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 109, 30-39.
Shahbazi, Y. (2018). Application of carboxymethyl cellulose and chitosan coatings containing Mentha spicata essential oil in fresh strawberries. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 112, 264-272.
Singleton, V.L., Orthofer, R. & Lamuela-Raventos, R.M. (1999). Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of folin-ciocalteu reagent. Methods in Enzymology, 299, 152-178.
Snoussi, A., Chouaibi, M., Haj Koubaier, H.B. & Bouzouita, N. (2022). Encapsulation of Tunisian thyme essential oil in O/W nanoemulsions: Application for meat preservation. Meat Science, 188, 108785.
Sogvar, O.B., Koushesh Saba, M. & Emamifar, A. (2016). Aloe vera and ascorbic acid coatings maintain postharvest quality and reduce microbial load of strawberry fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 114, 29-35.
Soylu, E.M. Kurt, S & Soylu, S. (2010). In vitro and in vivo antifungal activities of the essential oils of various plants against tomato grey mould disease agent Botrytis cinerea”. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 143,183-189.
Stanisavljevic, D.M., Dordevic, S.M., Ristic, M.S., Velickovic, D.T. & Randelovic, N.V. (2010). Effects of different drying methods on the yield and the composition of essential oil from herb Mentha longifolia (L.) Hudson. Biologica Nyssana, 1(2), 89-93.
Valero, D., Valverde, J.M., Martínez-Romero, D., Guillén, F., Castillo, S. & Serrano, M. (2006). The combination of modified atmosphere packaging with eugenol or thymol to maintain quality, safety and functional properties of table grapes. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 41(3), 317-327.
Vogler, B.K. & Ernst, E. (1999). Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. British Journal of General Practice, 49(2), 82-90.
Vyas, P.B., Gol, N.B. & Rao, T.R. (2014). Postharvest quality maintenance of papaya fruit using polysaccharide-based edible coatings. International Journal of Fruit Science, 14(1), 81-94.
Wan, J., Zhong, S., Schwarz, P., Chen, B. & Rao, J. (2019). Enhancement of antifungal and mycotoxin inhibitory activities of food-grade thyme oil nanoemulsions with natural emulsifiers. Food Control, 106, 106709.
Wang, S.Y. & Gao, H. (2013). Effect of chitosan-based edible coating on antioxidants, antioxidant enzyme system and post harvest fruit quality of strawberries (Fragaria × aranassa Duch.). LWT-Food Science and Technology, 52(2), 71-79.
Wojdylo, A., Figiel, A. & Oszmianski, J. (2009). Effect of drying methods with the application of vacuum microwaves on the bioactive compounds, color and antioxidant activity of strawberry fruits. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(4), 1337-1343.
Xu, F., Wang, S., Xu, J., Liu, S. & Li, G. (2016). Effects of combined aqueous chlorine dioxide and UV-C on shelf-life quality of blueberries. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 117, 125-131.
Zhang, X., Liu, D., Jin, T.Z., Chen, W., He, Q., Zou, Z. & Guo, M. (2021). Preparation and characterization of gellan gum-chitosan polyelectrolyte complex films with the incorporation of thyme essential oil nanoemulsion. Food Hydrocolloids,114, 106570.
Zhishen, J., Mengcheng, T. & Jianming, W. (1999). The determination of flavonoid contents in mulberry and their scavenging effects on superoxide radicals. Food Chemistry, 64(4), 555-559.
Zhou, R., Mo, Y., Li, Y., Zhao, Y., Zhang, G. & Hu, Y. (2008). Quality and internal characteristics of Huanghua pears (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai, cv. Huanghua) treated with different kinds of coatings during storage. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 49(1), 171-179.
Zhu, S.H. & Zhou, J. (2007). Effect of nitric oxide on ethylene production in strawberry fruit during storage. Food Chemistry, 100(4), 1517-1522.
Zúñiga, G.E., Junqueira-Gonçalves, M.P., Pizarro, M., Contreras, R., Tapia, A. & Silva, S. (2012). Effect of ionizing energy on extracts of Quillaja saponaria to be used as an antimicrobial agent on irradiated edible coating for fresh strawberries. Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 81(1), 64-69.