Influence of rural processing methods and postharvest storage treatments on quality characteristics of kola nut (Acuminata Schott & Endl.)
Quality changes of kola nut (Cola acuminata) as affected by processing methods and short-term storage environments were investigated. The experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research Laboratory of the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria. The treatments comprised of: three different colour plastic buckets – red, green, white and three inner linings - Newbouldia laevis leaves, Spondias mombin leaves and Black polyethylene sheets giving a 3 × 3 × 3 treatment combinations. The N. laevis, S. mombin and Black polyethylene sheets were laid inside the buckets as beddings for the kola nuts. About 0.45 kg of kola nuts (coated and uncoated) numbering 20 nuts were put in each storage container. Sensory quality of the nuts after storage was determined with quantitative descriptive analysis in expert panel, using six quality attributes. Physical parameters measured were; weight loss, pest incidence and sprouting incidence. Weight loss was significantly lower in white plastic storage container for coated kola nut while green plastic container reduced weight loss for uncoated. Black polyethylene sheet as inner-ling of the storage container significantly (P≤ 0.05) reduced weight loss and pest incidence in coated kola nut compared to uncoated. N. laevis and S. mombin significantly reduced weight loss in kola nuts. It is evident in this study that coated kola nut genotype were kept better than the uncoated kola nut.
Key words: Processing methods, kola nut, storage treatments, quality characteristics