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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pre and Postharvest Treatment of Tropical and Other Commodities for Quarantine Security, Quality Maintenance, and Value Enhancement

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Effects of chitosan-based coatings containing peppermint essential oil on the quality of post-harvest papaya fruit

Authors
item Picard, I -
item Hollingsworth, Robert
item Wall, Marisa
item Nishijima, Kate -
item Salmeiri, S -
item Vu, K -
item Lacroix, M -

Submitted to: International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2013
Publication Date: August 12, 2013
Citation: Picard, I., Hollingsworth, R.G., Wall, M.M., Nishijima, K., Salmeiri, S., Vu, K., Lacroix, M. 2013. Effects of chitosan-based coatings containing peppermint essential oil on the quality of post-harvest papaya fruit. International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation. 3:178-189. DOI: 10.1504/IJPTI.2013.055845

Interpretive Summary: Papayas are being exported from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, Canada, and Japan. Thus, an extended shelf-life allows the fruits to be exported longer distances while maintaining market quality. Edible coatings are a potential treatment that may minimize postharvest losses caused by dehydration, discoloration, softening, and decay. A promising edible bioactive coating was identified that combines unmodified chitosan with a low concentration of peppermint oil. Papaya fruits treated with this formulation showed a slightly higher sugar content, low weight loss, no peel injury, and 100% marketable fruits.

Technical Abstract: Edible coatings comprised of antimicrobial polymers based on chitosan are promising technologies to preserve post-harvest fruit quality. In this study, we investigated the potential utility of a coating made from chitosan modified by N-acylation with fatty acid to preserve post-harvest papaya quality. Peppermint essential oil (EO) was added to the chitosan-based coatings as an antifungal agent. A formulation which contained a high concentration of peppermint EO (1.0%) without chitosan apparently damaged the peel, resulting in higher peel discoloration, less color development and lower marketability. The most promising treatment was unmodified chitosan (1%) in combination with peppermint EO (0.2%). The fruits treated with this formulation showed less peel discoloration than the experimental control and 100% of the fruits were marketable. The modified chitosan apparently increased the hydrophobicity of the coating resulting in a loss of firmness and delayed color development of coated fruits during ripening.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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