Ethyl pyruvate (EP) suppressed post-harvest blue mold of sweet cherry fruit by inhibiting the growth of Penicillium oxalicum

J Sci Food Agric. 2019 May;99(7):3517-3524. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9571. Epub 2019 Feb 19.


Background: The shelf-life of fresh sweet cherry is relatively short due to fungal decay during post-harvest storage. To investigate the effect and the mechanism of action of ethyl pyruvate (EP) against blue mold of sweet cherry fruit caused by Penicillium oxalicum, the spores were treated with 25 mg L-1 EP. The spore germination rate of P. oxalicum, the integrities of the cell wall and plasma membrane, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were evaluated.

Results: EP treatment significantly suppressed post-harvest blue mold of sweet cherry fruit. We found that the treatment of 25 mg L-1 EP significantly suppressed blue mold of post-harvest sweet cherry fruit by directly inhibiting germination and the mycelial growth of P. oxalicum. After co-inoculation with EP for 30 min, the spore germination rate of P. oxalicum was reduced by 83.5%. In addition, the pH of the EP solution was found to affect its antimicrobial activity. After treatment with EP, the cell surface structures of the spores of P. oxalicum were much more incomplete, and higher ROS and MDA values were recorded in the spores.

Conclusions: The results suggested that EP treatment destroyed the integrities of the cell surface structures and caused oxidative damage of the spores of P. oxalicum. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: cherry fruit; ethyl pyruvate; penicillium oxalicum; post-harvest diseases.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Food Preservatives / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / microbiology
  • Penicillium / drug effects*
  • Penicillium / growth & development
  • Prunus avium / microbiology*
  • Pyruvates / pharmacology*


  • Food Preservatives
  • Pyruvates
  • ethyl pyruvate