Post-harvest dip of enhanced freshness formulation to extend the shelf life of banana (Musa acuminata cv. Grand Naine) in India
Keywords:Hexanal, shelf life, banana, storage, dip technology, enhanced freshness formulation, EFF, post-harvest technology
AbstractA laboratory study was undertaken to determine the effects of a nano-emulsion carrying hexanal, an enhanced freshness formulation (EFF), as a post-harvest dip technology to minimize the post-harvest losses and to extend the shelf life of bananas. The banana fruits were harvested at three maturities (95%, 85%, and 75%), dipped or not dipped in the EFF, and studied under both ambient and reduced temperature storage conditions. During the experiments, the fruit’s physical, physiological, and biochemical parameters were periodically evaluated. The treated fruit had lower physiological loss of weight and higher firmness throughout the study period, regardless of maturity level at the start. Treated fruit had higher total soluble solids and total sugars, and less acidity indicating improved fruit quality during storage, in addition to an extended shelf life. High resolution imaging using scanning electron microscopy showed that EFF-treated fruit exhibited well maintained structural lenticels on the fruit skin and deposition of starch granules in the fruit pulp, regardless of maturity level at the start. Overall, the results clearly indicated that the EFF-treated banana fruit were delayed in the ripening process and had an extended shelf life of up to six days in ambient conditions and nine days in cold storage conditions. Post-harvest dipping using hexanal formulation is a potential technology that could be adopted in pack houses for domestic and export markets.