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Effect of precooling and low temperature storage on postharvest life of litchi fruits

Rani, R., Ray, P. K., Barman, K., Singh, R. R.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1211 pp. 227-234
Litchi, brix, color, flavor, fruits, market value, precooling, shelf life, spoilage, storage temperature, storage time, sulfur, taste, total soluble solids, weight loss
In the present study, litchi fruits ('Shahi') were fumigated with sulphur at 60 g 100 kg-1 of fruits in a sealed chamber for 1 h. Sulphited litchi fruits were then precooled at a temperature of 4 and 10°C for 2 and 4 h and then stored at two temperature regimes of 0±1°C and 4±1°C with 90±5% RH. In case of control, sulphited fruits without precooling were stored in the similar environment. Results indicated that precooling followed by storage of litchi fruits at low temperature is highly effective in minimizing weight loss and decay of fruits up to 41 days of storage. Among the treatments, sulphited fruits, precooled at 4°C for 4 h and stored at 0±1°C, had the minimum weight loss (1.72%) and decay (5.64%) after 41 days of storage. The increase in storage temperature (4±1°C) did not bring any noticeable change in the weight loss and decay of fruits up to 41 days. It was found that sulphited precooled fruits stored at low temperature regimes exhibited almost negligible spoilage up to 17 days, while after 21 days of storage, very little incidence of spoilage was recorded. On the contrary, sulphited control fruits stored at low temperature without precooling, shriveled and showed decay symptoms from 9th day of storage. Fruits precooled at 10°C for 2 h and stored at 0±1°C maintained the highest total soluble solids content (17.62 °Brix) after 41 days of storage. However, the minimum TSS (15.90 °Brix) was recorded in control fruits. Conclusively, litchi fruits precooled at 4°C for 4 h and stored at 0±1°C temperature was the most effective way for preserving the quality (colour, flavor, taste, appearance, market value) and acceptability (81.30%) of fruit up to 41 days at low temperature, compared to control (4.50%).