Storage temperature affects fruit quality attributes of Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.) in Zimbabwe
Naturalised fruit, drying, storage condition, shelf life, fruit colour, vitamin C.
Fruit utilization is affected by quality attributes and shelf life. The quality of Jujube or Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.) fruits after harvest depends on storage conditions used. In this study, different storage temperatures and durations were evaluated to determine the appropriate storage conditions of fresh fruits of Z. mauritiana. Three storage temperature levels, low (5oC), intermediate (15oC) and ambient (22oC) were evaluated at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks storage durations. Fruits stored at low temperature lost only 48% of their weight during the entire 12 week storage period while the fruits stored in the ambient and intermediate temperature ranges lost 70 and 75% of weight, respectively. At three weeks of storage, more than 40% of fruits had shrivelled under the ambient and intermediate storage temperatures compared to only 3% under the low storage temperature. It is concluded that cold storage condition can prolong the shelf life of Z. mauritiana fruits.