Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effect of pyrogallol on the physiology and biochemistry of litchi fruit during storage

Guoxing Jing123, Hua Huang2, Bao Yang2, Jianrong Li1, Xiaolin Zheng1* and Yueming Jiang2*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Food Science and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Food Safety Key Lab of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, 310035, People’s Republic of China

2 Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510650, People’s Republic of China

3 School of Life Science and Technology, Zhanjiang Normal University, Zhanjiang, 524048, People’s Republic of China

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Chemistry Central Journal 2013, 7:19  doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-19

Published: 30 January 2013



Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) fruit are highly perishable and have a very short shelf life, easily turning brown and decaying. This study investigated the efficiency of pyrogallol, a catechin on the physiology and biochemistry in relation to storage life of litchi fruit.


Fruit were treated with pyrogallol at 1 mM and then stored at ambient temperature (25°C) or low temperature (4°C). Compared with control, pyrogallol significantly reduced pericarp browning and delayed the rotting of fruit day 4 at 25°C, and on day 30 at 4°C. The chemical treatment reduced respiration rate and the activities of peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and delayed the loss of membrane permeability. Pyrogallol increased the activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), delayed the loss of anthocyanin and phenolics, and maintained high 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrlhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and reducing power. High performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) analysis clearly indicated that treated fruit contained higher concentration of the four phenolic compounds procyanidin B1, (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin and (−)-epicatechin-3-gallate.


The application of pyrogallol partially reducing pericarp browning and changed quality-related physiological activities and, thus, pyrogallol could have beneficial effects on pericarp browning and fruit decay control, and could be helpful for litchi fruit postharvest storage.

Litchi fruit; Pyrogallol; Physiology; Postharvest; Quality; Storage