Retrospective Analysis of Moringa Leaf as a Substitute to Ethylene Gas in Hastening Ripening of Banana Fruit
Objective: The objective of this experiment was to study the knowledge, skills and traditional experiences of the farmers on the post harvest handling and management of Giant Cavendish banana fruit. The study further studied the effects of Moringa leaves in ripening and associated post harvest characters of Giant Cavendish banana fruits. Methodology: A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the traditional experience of the farmers in Arba Minch Zuria Woreda in post harvest management of banana fruits. The survey further assessed the experience of the farmers in using Moringa leaves and other materials to hasten banana ripening. Moreover, the survey generated scientific information from 140 farmers from the entire Woreda of which 79 are males and 61 are females. The study had another part involving a laboratory experiment to further investigate the role of Moringa leaves in substituting ethylene gas to hasten ripening in banana. Fully matured banana bunches of Giant Cavendish variety were collected from the three representative kebeles. Eight banana fingers were detached from the bunch and used for further ripening and associated post harvest characters analysis. The banana fingers from each variety were subjected to different levels of Moringa leaves (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 g) and kept sealed inside a paper cartoon for 24 h following the conventional banana ripening procedure. Results: The observed result showed that differences in the level of Moringa leaves had statistically significant effect on the fruit firmness and non significant effect on the physiological weight loss and total soluble solids. Though the analysis was statistically non significant in the latter two parameters, there was a considerable difference among the means. Conclusion: Moreover, in this study, the effect of Moringa leaves on the ripening, physical and physico-chemical characteristics of banana fruits was evidently demonstrated.