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Effect of kafirin protein coating on sensory quality and shelf‐life of ‘Packham's Triumph’ pears during ripening

Buchner, Sonya, Kinnear, Marise, Crouch, Ian J, Taylor, Janet, Minnaar, Amanda
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2011 v.91 no.15 pp. 2814-2820
edible films, exports, fruit quality, fruits, kafirins, pears, physicochemical properties, postharvest treatment, ripening, senescence, sensory properties, shelf life, storage temperature, wax coatings, South Africa
BACKGROUND: Pears are exported in large quantities from South Africa, resulting in large revenues. Minimisation of quality losses once the fruit has reached the export destination is as important as following strict export and distribution protocols. Kafirin can form edible films. In this study an edible coating made from 20 g kg−1 kafirin coating solution was applied as a postharvest treatment to retard quality deterioration of ‘Packham's Triumph’ pears during storage at the typical ripening temperature (20 °C). Changes in physicochemical and sensory quality were monitored over a period of 24 days. RESULTS: The kafirin coating was unable to retard the onset of ripening but decreased the respiration rate and retarded the progression of senescence. However, moisture loss was exacerbated in the kafirin‐coated fruit during ripening at 20 °C, especially towards the end of the shelf‐life. CONCLUSION: The kafirin coating extended the eat‐ripe quality of the pears by 1–2 weeks. However, the appearance of the fruit was unacceptable after 14 days of storage in terms of wrinkled skin. Further work is needed to improve the water barrier properties of the kafirin coating by incorporating a wax or triglyceride into the coating formulation or more simply by applying a kafirin coating to waxed fruit.