Donal Bhattacharjee & Rabi Shankar Dhua. International Journal of Current Microbiology & Applied Sciences
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L., Family: Cucurbitaceae) is an important vegetable grown in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The fruits are used in traditional medications and in a wide variety of culinary preparations. The recent trends of improving dietary standards have placed this vegetable in consumers’ platter due to its rich nutritional profile. So, the consumers demand for quality fruits which are judged by the colour, firmness and appearance.
The major losses in the quality and quantity of fresh vegetables compounds, decreasing the respiration rate of the fruit and water loss and preserving texture and flavour. In addition, edible coatings also carry certain functional ingredients such as antioxidants, antimicrobials, nutrients, and flavours to further enhance food stability, quality, functionality and safety.
The edible coatings can be classified into three categories based on the components used for preparation: hydrocolloids, lipids and composites. Carnauba wax is an edible coating material under the lipid group, is a wax from the palm (Copernicia prunifera, Family: Arecaceae), a plant native to and grown only in the northeastern Brazilian states. It is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm by collecting and drying, beating them to loosen the wax, refining and bleaching the wax.
Studies have revealed that edible coatings particularly Carnuba wax and chitosan can be used as postharvest treatment for enhancing the storability of bitter gourd gourd fruits under ambient storage conditions.
There were seven treatments, replicated thrice and experiment was laid out in completely randomized design. The bitter gourd fruits coated with 1.0% Carnuba wax maintained higher sensory score of 6.67 in storage.
The physiological loss in weight was documented minimum in Carnuba wax treated fruits with a weight loss of 4.61% by the end of storage period. The fruits treated with Carnuba wax recorded no spoilage respectively up to 4 days.
Higher disease reduction index of 83.98 was observed. The chlorophyll content remained high on 2nd day, 4th day as well as on 6th day in storage with maximum retention of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll in 1.0%Carnuba wax coated fruits.
Hence, it could be concluded that postharvest application of 1.0% Carnuba wax has a potential to extend storage life and preserve other quality attributes.
- Donal Bhattacharjee & Rabi Shankar Dhua
- Department of Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural Crops, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur- 741 252, Nadia, West Bengal, India