Effect of two storage methods on the keeping and sensory qualities of four plantain varieties
AbstractPlantains are an important cash and subsistence crop for the small-scale producers all year round in most parts of the tropical world including Ghana. Unfortunately, the plantain industry is still characterised by high post-harvest losses. Given that plantains are still used in the fresh state, any intervention aimed at reducing the losses must have this in mind. This paper is on a study of the influence of passive evaporative cooling (PEC) and modified atmosphere (MA) on the keeping and sensory qualities of
four plantain varieties, Apem, Apentu, Oniaba and Asamienu, during the preclimacteric and post-climacteric storage stages. The PEC was achieved by using sawdust held in jute sacs moistened to varying moisture holding capacities (mhc) of 25%, 50% and 75%. The MA storage was achieved using a number of storage treatment combinations involving two types of low density polyethylene pouches, sawdust and potassium permanganate, as an ethylene scrubber. The PEC at 50% mhc produced the longest green life of 28, 26, 16, and 15 days and post-climacteric storage life of 34, 32, 22 and 21days for Apem, Apentu, Oniaba and Asamienu, respectively. Peel splitting disorder did not occur at any of the mhc levels used for the
study. However, all varieties were susceptible to finger drop after three weeks. The MA exhibited varying effect (P< 0.001) on post-climacteric storage life. The use of KMnO4 increased green life by 3 to 6 days across treatments. Inclusion of moist sawdust in MA increased green life of Apem from 11 to 16 and further to 18 days when KMnO4 was added. Principal component analysis established that for any one variety of plantain, all treatments received statistically comparable scores for colour,
flavour, mouth feel, taste and overall acceptability by the trained sensory panel of ten, except for texture. There were significant differences among varieties for all sensory attributes. Thus, PEC and MA can be promoted as low-cost systems for the handling and storage of plantain during its marketing.
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