Post Harvest Quality of Bananas
|Provider Institution: AREU
|Principal Inestigator: Mr. R. A. Bhugaloo & Mr. N. Sobhun
|Report Available upon request.
Banana, one of the most important fruit grown in Mauritius, is subject to heavy post-harvest losses as a result of poor handling, harvesting, ripening and storage practices.
The project reports on activities that were undertaken with the aiming of developing a package of appropriate practices to minimise post-harvest quality deterioration in banana. These focus on the determination of a harvest maturity index for commercially ripened fruits and the identification of major post-harvest diseases and their control.
Trials related to the determination of a proper harvest maturity index showed that bunch harvest age and finger diameter are the best indices for judging time of harvest. However, variations of these indices were observed depending on varieties, growing sites and bearing season.
Fruits harvested at different harvest ages showed significant variations (9-25) days in the potential green life and did not ripen uniformly at ambient conditions. On the other hand, under industrial ripening conditions or with Ethrel dip treatment, the fruits ripened uniformly and had a shelf life of 7-8 days.
Industrially ripened fruits had a shelf life of 13 days when stored at 18oC as compared 12 days when stored at ambient temperature and only 7 days when stored under warm conditions (temperature of 26oC). Moreover, storage at 26oC was associated with inhibition of degreening of the peel and enhanced softening of the pulp, thereby resulting in poor quality fruits.
Market survey results revealed that the major post harvest diseases were the crown rot disease (Fusarium sp. and Colletotrichum sp.), anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp) and finger tip rot disease (Colletotrichum sp. And Fusarium sp.). Used as a dip immediately after harvest, Benomyl @250 ppm and thiabenzadol @500 ppm were found to be effective in controlling the crown rot disease.
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