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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges 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