Effects of Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Low Temperatures on the Physico-Chemical Changes and Shelf Life of Banana
Banana (Musa sapientum L.) of the botanical family Musaceae is one of the major and commercially important fruit crops in the world trade. The major banana producing countries of the world are Brazil, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, Columbia and Costa-Rica. Presently, the total area coverage by banana production is 56 thousand hectares, with a total production of 909 thousand in MT in Bangladesh. Banana is a climacteric fruits and its ripening changes involve rapid conversion of starch into sugar as well as increased activity of the respiratory enzymes peroxidase and increased ethylene production. A considerable quantity of harvested bananas goes waste due to its perishable nature and loss in Bangladesh is estimated to be 25-50%. The perishability of the fruit is attributed to adverse physiological changes, namely loss of weight due to respiration and transpiration, softening of flesh and loss of resistance to microbial attack. Postharvest losses of fruits per year including banana in Bangladesh has been estimated 0.226 million tons valued in Tk. 1356 million. There are several loss reduction technologies have been devised to minimize the postharvest deterioration and extension of shelf life of banana. The technologies include modified atmosphere packaging, fruits storage under low temperature, controlled atmosphere packaging and use of chemical fungicides. It is imperative to embark on a comprehensive study and understand postharvest behavior of banana fruits as affected by different postharvest treatments to alleviate the postharvest losses, extend shelf life, maintain quality and ensure safety. Keeping the above facts in mind, the present investigation was designed to examine the efficacy of different low temperatures and modified atmosphere packaging to prolong banana shelf life maintaining quality.