Color Retention and Extension of Shelf Life of Litchi Fruit in Response to Storage and Packaging Technique
Background and Objective: Litchi is a tropical fruit of high commercial value and high demand in national and international markets. Its main postharvest problem is the rapid pericarp browning, color loss and rotting which is due to environmental factors such as temperature and storage technique. Color is the most important external characteristic to assess ripeness and postharvest life and is a major factor in the consumerʼs purchase decision. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of different storage temperature and simple packaging technique on color retention, reducing pericarp browning and extension of marketable life of litchi fruit. Methodology: The experiment was carried out in the laboratory of postharvest technology Division of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) using CRD factorial arrangement with 3 times of replication. A two way analysis of variances (ANOVA) was conducted by using statistical method (MSTAT-C). Results: The result showed that storage of litchi fruit at 5±1EC significantly (p<0.05) increased the hue angle, light and chroma than the fruits stored at ambient condition. The fruit stored at 5±1EC inhibited physiological loss in weight and decay loss compared to others. The nutritional study of the fruit stored at 5±1EC had significantly (p<0.05) higher than stored at ambient condition. Total soluble solid content increased with development of color and increasing storage periods. In case of packaging technique, fruit packed in non-perforated polyethylene bag wrapping with browning paper increased the firmness, reduced browning and retention of higher color value than other packaging techniques under the temperature of 5±1EC. The marketable life of the fruits significantly (p<0.05) increased (30 days more) using non-perforated polyethylene bag wrapping with browning paper (0.06 mm) under the temperature of 5±1EC compared to others. Conclusion: The result served as a bench mark to sub-tropical and litchi growing and possible exportable areas like Bangladesh in which atmospheric temperature mostly approaches to 30EC and somewhere above 30EC.