Variable light transmission through four polyethylene colours used for plantain Musa sp. AAB) fruits storage as influencing its postharvest and culinary qualities
 
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Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
 
Int. Agrophys. 2005, 19(1): 19–25
 
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ABSTRACT
Postharvest wastes of horticultural produce are enormous in Nigeria, requiring increasing efforts to reduce this spate. Therefore, colourless, blue, red and yellow polyethylene bags impregnated with or without sawdust were used for storing green mature plantain fruits. Control treatment was fruits lined on laboratory bench. Sample fruits enclosed in polyethylene were sealed under ambient laboratory conditions and thereafter opened weekly to assess postharvest changes. Inclusion of sawdust was not in any way more beneficial than without it. Relative light transmission through the four colours was expectedly different. Light intensity reduction by the colourless polyethylene was 3.6%, compared to 30-35% reductions by blue and yellow polyethylene. Variation in light intensity transmitted explained about 90% of weight loss in fruits. After three weeks of storage, weight loss from fruit stored in blue polyethylene was about 7% compared to about 45% in the control. Colour of polyethylene also significantly (P <0.05) influenced ripening pattern. Whereas 67% of fruits stored in colourless, yellow and red polyethylene were still green after two weeks of storage, only 8% of the control samples was still green. Organoleptic assessment of steamed boiled fruits after two weeks of storage revealed that fruits stored in blue and red polyethylene combined relatively high textural and general acceptability ratings, while fruits stored in yellow polyethylene had the highest textural rating. The general acceptability rating of fruits stored in yellow, red and blue polyethylene had highest relationship with flavour, but with taste - for fruits stored in colourless polyethylene. Evidences from the study revealed that blue and yellow polyethylene transmitting lower light intensity ensured lowest fruit weight loss, delayed ripening and enhanced culinary quality traits, and are therefore suggested for further evaluation and use under high temperature environment.
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