The use of vented clamshells has become popular in the packaging of grapes for local and international markets. The aim of this study is to evaluate the postharvest preservation of 'Benitaka' table grapes individually packaged in vented clamshells using different types of SO2-generating pads and perforated plastic liners during cold storage. A completely randomized design with four replications in a two-factor arrangement with an additional treatment [(4 × 3) + 1] was used. The trials were carried out under two situations: Artificial or natural infections with Botrytis cinerea, which is the causal agent of gray mold on table grapes. The incidence of gray mold, shattered berries, and stem browning were evaluated at 30 and 45 days of cold storage at 1 ± 1 °C and 3 days of shelf-life at 22 ± 1 °C after the period of cold storage. Mass loss and berry firmness were also examined at the end of the cold storage period. The use of dual-release SO2-generating pads containing 5 or 8 g of a.i. and slow-release pads with 7 g of a.i. was effective in controlling the incidence of gray mold in grapes packaged in vented clamshells and kept under cold storage for up to 45 days. Under these storage conditions, perforated plastic liners with 0.3% ventilation area or micro-perforated liners with 1.0% ventilation area reduced the percentage of mass loss and shattered berries.
Keywords: Brazil; gray mold; packaging technology; postharvest treatments; table grapes.