Fungicides used in the prevention and control of mold rots in stored apples are subjected to legal, social, and biological limitations. The aim of this study was to find an alternative to postharvest fungicides currently used in the prevention and control of blue mold rot caused by Penicillium expansum in apples. For this purpose, the antimicrobial activity and MIC of several substances against P. expansum were evaluated in vitro using different end point methods: agar diffusion assay, volatility method, and agar dilution and broth dilution MIC assays. Most of the substances tested are common food ingredients and have a recognized antimicrobial activity. Essential oils, such as thymol, eugenol, citral and cineole, vanillin, sodium hypochlorite, acetic acid, potassium sorbate, and hydrogen peroxide, were the substances evaluated. Thymol and citral were the essential oil components that showed the greatest inhibitory effects. The effectiveness of 5 and 10% hydrogen peroxide in growth inhibition of P. expansum in the agar diffusion assay was total, and its MIC as determined by the agar and broth dilution assays was less than 0.025%. These results indicate that the application of small quantities of hydrogen peroxide to the apple skin might be an alternative to fungicides in the elimination of P. expansum.

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