Techniques to manipulate the ripening of fruits transported from the farmland to the market are varied but they are either complicated or expensive. For small farmers and even fruit vendors, the use of chemical agents to delay the ripening of fruits is seldom resorted to. For large fruit dealers, paraffin waxes and chemical coatings, which are inedible, are used. Chitosan coating is one agent that has been proven to delay the ripening of non-climacteric fruits (e.g. apples, oranges, peaches). However, this has not been extensively studied among climacteric fruits (e.g. tropical fruits such as papaya, bananas, mangoes).
This study used chitosan coating to manipulate such ripening in table bananas (Musa sapientum). The concentration at which this worked better was determined and the quality of the fruits with treatments were evaluated. Powdered shrimp exoskeletons were obtained for the production of chitosan. This underwent three processes (deproteinization, demineralization, and deacetylation) for conversion to chitosan. Two different sets were weighed and diluted in 1.0% acetic acid for subsequent preparation of concentrations (0.5% and 1.0%). Recording of weights of bananas was done daily. The day on which ripening occurred was also noted. After nine days evaluation, the samples were tested for the soluble solids present and the pH as well. Results show that the chitosan coating can indeed delay ripening of table bananas. The higher concentration yielded a lower percentage of ripening among the samples. The quality of the ripened fruits was compared to the untreated samples with respect to pH and soluble solids.
Materials & Equipment
Further clarification of the procedures and results should be directed to the researchers and adviser.
Kenn Andre Acaabal
Philippine Science High School-EVC, Gov’t. Center, Palo, Leyte