A 2003 study indicates that trans-resveratrol, an antioxidant component of red wine thought to confer the beverages heart healthy effects, makes fruit stay fresher longer.
As it is well-known, one of the main problems of modern agriculture is the post-harvest fruit losses due to pathogen's attack and natural senescence during storage. Well established solutions to improve this situation, such as, for example, storage under controlled conditions and the use of synthetic pesticides, are not free of problems due to human health risks and environmental effects caused by chemical pesticides.
Previous studies have shown that resveratrol kills fungi on fruit and that it can fight diseases caused by yeasts and molds.
In this study, researchers set out to determine whether trans-resveratrol’s antioxidant properties could keep fruit fresher longer. They found that coating the fruit with resveratrol protected it from Botrytis cinerea, a common fungus. Dipping the fruit in resveratrol extended the shelf life of apples from two weeks to three months. The shelf life of grapes doubled after resveratrol treatment.
Gonzalez Urena A, Orea JM, Montero C, Jimenez JB, Gonzalez JL, Sanchez A, Dorado M. Improving Postharvest Resistance in Fruits by External Application of trans-Resveratrol. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 1;51(1):82-9.