ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 81 Number 3
Forced ventilation evaporative cooling: A case study on banana, papaya, orange, mandarin, and lemon. (179)
A forced ventilation evaporative cooler was developed from locally available materials and tested on its effectiveness in reducing storage air temperature, rising relative humidity (RH) inside the chamber, reducing physiological weight loss, and improving the marketability of banana, papaya, orange, mandarin, and lemon. The cooler significantly (P < 0.05) reduced air temperature by about 10°C with a rise in RH by more than 27% during storage. Excessive loss of fruit moisture was observed when stored under ambient conditions. However, the test clearly demonstrated that the evaporative cooler significantly reduced loss of moisture during storage. The weight losses from banana, papaya, orange, mandarin, and lemon stored for 32 days at ambient conditions were 42.5, 66.5, 10.3, 4.1, and 13.3% more, respectively, when compared to the weight losses from these fruits stored in the evaporative cooler. The percentage marketability and physiological weight loss data indicated that the shelf life of fruits was highly improved with the help of the evaporative cooler under hot climatic conditions. Storage in the evaporative cooler increased the shelf lives of banana, papaya, orange, mandarin, and lemon to more than 20, 14, 29, 23, and 24 days, respectively, compared to less than 8 days shelf lives for all fruits when stored at ambient conditions.
Keywords: Evaporative cooling; Improved shelf life; Fruits; Percentage marketability; Tropical conditions