EFFECT OF FRUIT SIZE AND TEMPERATURE ON THE SHELF LIFE AND QUALITY OF RIPE BANANA FRUIT

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1 Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 1, 2007 EFFECT OF FRUIT SIZE AND TEMPERATURE ON THE SHELF LIFE AND QUALITY OF RIPE BANANA FRUIT Saeed Ahmad*, Mohammad Akram Nasir*, Zahid Hussain* Raheel Anwar * and A. K. Thompson** ABSTRACT The research was carried out to investigate the effect of fruit size, ripening temperature on the shelf life and quality of ripe banana fruit of two sizes, small (14 cm) and large (20cm). It is concluded that ethylene treatment with 1000 ppm for 24 hours is sufficient to initiate the ripening in both sizes of bananas. It was also observed that there was no difference between the shelf life of small or large size bananas of similar maturity. There was no significant variation in the speed of ripening between small and larger one but total soluble solids were greater (18.8% and 19.3 %) in smaller bananas than larger ones (17.2% and 17.7%). Temperature showed significant effect on ripening so bananas of both sizes took 4 and 2 days to reach colour stage 6 which were transferred at 20 o C from 16 o C and 18 o C respectively. The interaction between fruit size and colour stage indicated that small bananas showed quicker and greater response to higher temperature at colour stage 3 than larger ones. The difference in ripening temperature used in Britain and other countries of Europe is due to the variations in preference. Panelists preferred longer fingers due to their external appearance rather than internal quality. INTRODUCTION Banana is an important fruit crop in the world. It is estimated that 100 million people subsist on bananas and plantain (Seymour, 1993). Banana fruits have a special place in human diet. They are chiefly eaten raw as a dessert fruit, because in the ripe stage they are sweet and easily digestible (Robinson, 1996). They are useful for patients with peptic ulcers, for treatment of infant diarrhea, in celiac disease and in colitis (Robinson, 1996). They are also ideal for patients with gout or arthritis, kidney disease, blood pressure and heart disease (Robinson, 1996). They are low in fats, cholesterol and salts (Stover and Simmonds, 1987). They can make a useful contribution to the vitamin A, C and B 6 contents of the diet, and are an important and immediate source of energy, being often eaten by sportsman and women during competition (Robinson, 1996). A medium sized banana contains 280 kilojoules, which is significantly more than deciduous or citrus fruits (Robinson, 1996). The size of individual units of a product can significantly affect consumer appeal, handling practices, storage potential, and market selection (Kays, 1991). It has also been shown that moisture loss of fruit depends upon size, maturity, storage temperature and humidity (Salunkhe et al., 1991). The best commercial ripening temperature in Britain is considered to be 16 o C (Thompson, 1996). In other countries of Europe, recommended commercial ripening temperature is 18 o C. The question arises as to why there is variation in the recommended ripening temperature. The control of the ripening temperature is important to obtain the best quality fruit within in specific marketable life. Temperature influences the ripening changes in banana. Therefore this experiment was started to find out the best temperatures for the ripening and differences between small and large bananas quality wise. MATERIAL AND METHODS This research was conducted in post harvest laboratory of Canfield University, at Silso College UK in Pre climacteric Cavendish Bananas of two sizes 14 cm and 20 cm at colour stage 1 were obtained from C.t Wilkinson in Belford UK. Undamaged bananas of uniform colour were selected and cut into fingers. The cut portions were dipped in 500 ppm thiabendazol (fungicide) and then allowed to air dry. Bananas were treated with 1000 ppm ethylene for 24 hours. Ten fingers each of small and large bananas were kept at 16 o C and 18 o C both and 80-85% relative humidity. When fruits of both temperatures reached colour * Orange Research Institute, Sargodha Pakistan. ** Institute of Horticulture Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Pakistan.

2 Saeed Ahmad, et al. Effect of fruit size and temperature in Banana fruit. 46 stage 3, two fingers from each replication in each treatment were analyzed and the remaining fruits transferred to 20 o C for ripening. Two fingers were randomly selected from each replication in each treatment for daily analysis. These were earmarked at the start of the experiment. During this period (at 20 o C) two fingers of each replication in each treatment were again analyzed daily until they reached colour stage 6. Sensory evaluation data were only collected when fruits were fully ripen (colour stage-6). The experiment was conducted to Factorial Design with four replications. Assessment of Fruit Ripening (Assessment of Colour Stage) Ripening of banana fruit was assessed according to peel color compared with a color chart as described by Stover and Simmond, (1987). The peel of banana fruits changes colour from dark green to bright yellow during ripening. The ripening process has been divided into seven stages by colour changes. These are as follows: 1,green; 2,green with a trace of yellow; 3, more green than yellow; 4,more yellow than green; 5,only green tips remaining; 6, all yellow; 7, yellow flecked with brown. Assessment of Fruit Quality Two methods i.e. objective method and subjective method were used for the assessment of quality. Objective Methods The peel color was measured by colorimeter A positive (a*) values corresponding to the degree of redness while a negative value corresponding to the degree of greenness. The positive values (b*) represents the degree of yellowness and negative (b) one represents the blueness. Peel firmness was measured using an Instron universal testing machine (model 2211) with an 8mm cylindrical probe. Total soluble solids were measured using refractometer. Starch percentage was measured by using the technique recommended by Blankenship et al., (1993). Individual fruit was weighed using a digital balance (precise ) cumulative weight loss a percentage was calculated as follows. Weight loss% = Wo-Wi x100 Wo Where Wo = original weight Wi = Weight at sampling (when Banana reached at color score 6). Weight loss percentage per day was calculated as follows: Weight loss percentage per day = TWP SC Where TWP=Total weight loss percentage at color stage 6 SC = Storage life (total days when Banana reached color store 6 from pre-climacteric stage). Subjective Assessments (Sensory Evaluation) The fruits were removed from storage when they were at color score 6. Panel of eight assessors was selected from the college and the tests involved individual assessment in isolated testing condition under a standard light source. The Judges were asked to assess pulp flavor, sweetness, and acceptance on life point s sale as follows: 1. Low 2. Moderate 3. Moderate high 4. Good / high 5. Very good / high The scores marked by panelists were collected and an average was calculated for each parameter and sub parameter. There averages were used for statistical analysis. s of treatments were calculated and presented in the form of Tables. Statistical Analysis Data were processed and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out based on Factorial Design using MSTATC, a P.C based programming with four replications. LSD at P=0.05 was used to test for significant difference of results where applicable. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Storage Life (Speed of Ripening) It is evident from Table I that there was no significant difference in the speed of ripening between smaller and large size fruit. Bananas kept at 18 o C reached colour stage 3 earlier than those which were kept at 16 o C. Bananas at both temperatures took four days to reach colour stages 3 to 6. The total time needed for fruit to reach

3 Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 1, colour stage 6 was significantly longer for those, which were transferred from 16 o C to 20 o C than those transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C. There was no significant interaction between these factors. It is well established and confirmed, that high temperature accelerates the ripening of banana fruit. There was no difference between the speed of ripening in small and large bananas which could be due to the exogenous ethylene treatment. Marriott, (1980) found that ethylene at 1-ppm for 24 hours was enough to induce prompt initiation of ripening. No evidence could be found in the literature which suggests that either small or large size bananas of similar maturity have any variability in response to exogenous ethylene. Therefore, it can be concluded that ethylene treatment with 1000 PPM for 24 hours was sufficient to initiate the ripening in either sizes of banana fruits. Table I Days required to attain colour stage Effect of fruit size and temperature on the storage life (days) of banana at different stages. Temperatures and fruit sizes (days to reach colour stage) (days) Colour stage 3 (days) Colour stage 3 to Colour stage (days) Temperature 0.23 Other all are NS CV 9.2 % Weight Loss% The mean values for weight loss percent in Table II showed that weight loss was significantly greater in smaller bananas at colour stage 3 and 6 than larger bananas. Bananas stored at 16 o C also showed greater weight loss than those stored at 18 o C up to colour stage 3. However, when they reached colour stage 6, the trend was changed total weight loss was greater in bananas, which were transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C than those bananas which were transferred from 16 o C to 20 o C. There was interaction between fruit size and colour stage. The difference in weight loss between both sizes of fruit was highest at colour stage 6. The interaction between temperature and colour stage showed that difference between two temperatures in weight loss was significantly greater between colour stage 3 and 6. The greater weight loss in smaller banana might be due to the greater respiration and transpiration rate. This effect has previously been found in potatoes by Day (1993), which stated that small potatoes have higher respiration rate than larger ones of the same variety. Ben (1987) reported that fruit size affected water loss. He stated that transpiration rate was greater in smaller fruit such as oranges compared to large fruit such as grapefruit. The interaction between fruit size and colour stage indicated that small bananas, when removed from a lower temperature to higher temperature, showed an immediate response to the higher temperature. Respiration and transpiration became greater in small bananas than larger ones so they lost more weight than larger ones at colour stage 3 to 6.

4 Saeed Ahmad, et al. Effect of fruit size and temperature in Banana fruit. 48 Table II Effect of fruit size and temperature on the weight loss of banana at different stages Temperatures and fruit sizes ( percent weight loss) percentage Colour stage Colour stage 3 to Colour stage percentage Fruit size 0.09 C. Stage 0.11 Temperature 0.09 Fruit size x Stage 0.16 Fruit size x Temperature NS Temp. X Stage 0.16 Fruit size x Temperature x Colour stage NS CV 4.7% Peel Colour Bananas, which were transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C, were significantly less green than those transferred from 16 o C to 20 o C at colour stage 6 (Table III). Fruits at an advanced colour stage of ripening were significantly less green and significantly more yellow than those at an early colour stage of ripening. In terms of peel colour development, it has been observed that the break down of chlorophyll is temperature dependent. The dark yellow and light green colour at the advance stages of ripening was due to the completion of ripening processes. This is because chlorophyll content decreases slowly during ripening and peel yellowing during ripening is due to chlorophyll breakdown (Montenegro, 1988). Table. III Effect of fruit size and temperature on the peel colour a* values (greenness) of banana fruit at different stages. Temperatures and fruit sizes (Values) Colour stage After one day After two days After three days Colour stage , Note: a* Values (greenness) of banana fruits at the beginning of experiment. Small= Large= Fruit size NS C. Stage Temperature 0.44 Fruit size x Stag NS Fruit size x Temperature NS Temp. X Stage NS Fruit size x Temperature x Colour stage NS CV 12.8%

5 Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 1, Table IV Colour stages Effect of fruit size and temperature on the peel colour b* values (yellowness) of banana fruit. Temperatures and fruit sizes (values) Colour stage After one day After two days After three days Colour stage Note. b* values (yellowness) of banana fruit at the beginning of experiment. Small fruit= Large fruit= Fruit size NS C. Stage 0.64 Temperature NS Fruit size x Stage NS Fruit size x Temperature NS Temp. X Stage NS Fruit size x Temperature x Colour stage NS CV 7.7% Peel Firmness Fruit size showed that smaller fruits were significantly softer than large fruits (Table-IV). The fruits transferred from higher temperature (18 o C) were also significantly softer than those transferred from lower temperature (16 o C). Fruits were also significantly softer at colour stage 6 than at other colour stages. There was an interaction between fruit size and colour stage. The interaction showed that difference between small and large bananas regarding peel firmness values were significantly greater at one and three days after colour stage 3 (0.94 and 0.46) but statistically similar at those of other colour stages. There was also interaction between temperature and colour stage. Bananas of both temperature (16 o C and 18 o C) showed similar differences regarding firmness values at colour stage 3, two days after colour stage 3 and at colour stage 6 (0.32, 0.24 and 0.14), but the differences were greater after one and three days of colour stage3 (0.47 and 0.49). The soft small bananas at colour stage 6 indicated that they were riper than larger bananas. This is because the softening of bananas is associated with degradation of starch. The softer fruit at higher temperature could be due to the fact that they had completed more ripening process than those at lower temperature. The interaction showed that variation in fruit size had greater effect at the initial colour stages of ripening than at the final stages. This effect could be due to the greater weight loss of smaller fruits when removed from the lower temperature to higher temperature that they suddenly lost more weight and might have completed the ripening processes faster than the larger ones. As a result the total solids increased from 1 to 16.3% and 12.5 to 18.4% in small bananas at both temperatures during ripening from colour stage 3 to one day after colour stage 3. In contrast total soluble solids increased from 11.3 to 14.6% and 12.8 and 15.2% in large bananas during the same period. This indicated that small bananas had completed more ripening processes than larger ones. It has previously observed (Finny et al., 1967) that firmness in bananas is closely related to reducing sugar and starch contents during ripening.

6 Saeed Ahmad, et al. Effect of fruit size and temperature in Banana fruit. 50 Table V Effect of fruit size and temperature on the peel firmness (Nmm -1 ) of banana fruit at different Stages Temperatures and fruit sizes (Nmm-1) Colour stage After one day After two days , After three days Colour stage Note. Peel firmness of banana fruit at the beginning of experiment. Small fruit= (Nmm -1 ) Large fruit= 23 (Nmm -1 ) Fruit size 0.15 C. Stage 0.24 Temperature 0.15 Fruit size x Stage 0.34 Fruit size x Temperature NS Temp. X Stage 0.34 Fruit size x Temperature x Colour stage 0.49 CV 7.4% Total Soluble Solids (TSS%) The results are presented in Table VI. Analyses of variance showed significant differences for fruit size, temperature and colour stage at the P=0.05 level. The other factors were non-significant. The results of this experiment confirmed the results of the previous experiment. Smaller bananas showed significantly greater total soluble solids than larger bananas. Bananas which were transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C also had higher total soluble solids than those, which were transferred from 16 o C to 20 o C. Total soluble solids increased with the ripening stage of the bananas. No significant interaction was found between any two factors. The higher total soluble solids in small fruit could be due to the higher hydrolysis of starch at the fully ripe stage. This characteristic has also been observed in other crops such as tomatoes. Salunkhe et al., 1991 reported that small tomato fruits have a greater amount of reducing sugars than large ones.

7 Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 1, Table VI Effect of fruit size and temperature on the total soluble solids (TSS ) of banana Measurement stages Temperatures and fruit sizes (percent TSS) Colour stage After one day After two days After three days Colour stage Note. TSS percentage of banana fruit at the beginning of experiment. Small fruit= 6.6% Large fruit= 7.2% Fruit size 0.41 C. Stage 0.66 Temperature 0.41 Fruit size x Stage NS Fruit size x Temperature NS Temp. X Stage NS Fruit size x Temperature x Colour stage NS CV 5.1% Starch Percentage Analysis of variance showed the same picture as total soluble solids (Table VII). Small fruits had a significantly lower starch percentage than larger ones. Bananas transferred from 18 ton 20 0 C showed a significantly reduced percentage of starch compared to those transferred from 16 to 20 0 C Bananas of different colour stages showed significant differences in starch percentage. The highest reduction in starch percentage was found at colour stage 6. There was no significant interaction between these factors. Table VII. Effect of fruit size and temperature on the starch of banana fruit at different stages Temperatures and fruit sizes (percent) Colour stage After one day After two days After three days Colour stage Note. Initial starch percentages at the beginning of experiment. Small fruit =95% Large fruit =95% Fruit size 2.37 Temperature 2.37 Colour stage 3.74 All other are NS CV 8.5%

8 Saeed Ahmad, et al. Effect of fruit size and temperature in Banana fruit. 52 Sensory Evaluation All fruits showed statistically similar flavour (Table VIII). Panelists also could not differentiate between these bananas in relation to their sweetness (Table VIII). Astringency and off flavour were negligible in all fruits, but astringency was reduced in those which were transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C. Panelists gave higher scores for acceptability in those, which were transferred, from 16 o C and 18 o C to 20 o C but there was an indication that bananas, which were, transferred from16 o C to 20 o C received a slightly higher score than those which were transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C. The sensory evaluation regarding the lack of any variation in flavour, sweetness, astringency and off- odours in experiment indicated that all bananas ripened normally. Panelists preferred large size bananas. It can be concluded that panelists preferred the external appearance rather than internal quality in both sizes of bananas. This effect has previously been found by Karamura and Karamura (1995). They reported that long fingers are generally preferred to short ones. They further added that this statement is true for dessert and matooke bananas because longer ones had a greater domestic value and were easier to peel. They found that the cultivar Musakala has long fingers and as result it is becoming a commercial cultivar in Uganda. Stover and Simmonds (1987) also supported the current findings when they reported that finger length is the second most important measurement after finger size in terms of their quality specifications. Research conducted by Ssemwanga (1996) on matooke also supports the superiority of long fingers. He found from a survey with traders that the large fingers cultivar Siira and Enzira were mentioned as very attractive in appearance and could be sold for this even if they did not have good eating quality. In terms of shelf life, bananas ripened at both temperatures reached colour stage 6 after the same time when transferred from lower temperatures to high temperature. The firmness values and panelist scores for acceptability of the bananas which had been transferred from 18 o C to 20 o C showed that they were losing their quality because these bananas received maximum scores but were only statistically equal in those which were transferred from 16 o C to 20 o C. This could be due to greater weight loss, greater reduction in firmness or due to the stage of ripeness of the pulp. In the light of these results it can safely be assumed that the difference between the ripening temperature in Britain and the rest of Europe might be due to the taste or preference of people in different countries. The only difference that could be found between the effects of the two temperatures was in the stage of ripening. The people in the rest of Europe might prefer softer bananas at a further stage of ripening than British people.

9 Sarhad J. Agric. Vol. 23, No. 1, Table VIII Flavour 16 o C 18 o C of Size Sweetness 16 o C 18 o C of Size Astringency 16 o C 18 o C of Size Off-odour 16 o C 18 o C of Size Acceptability 16 o C 18 o C of Size Effect of fruit size and temperature on the sensory evaluation of bananas fruit at colour stage 6. Where 5=maximum scores (very good sweetness) 1=minimum score (low sweetness) Fruit sizes Small Large Note. F.= Fruit size T.= Temperature TXF. Interaction between Fruit size and Temperature of Temperature LSD (P=0.05) F. NS T. NS F.X T. NS F. NS T. NS F.X T. NS F. NS T F.X T. NS F. NS T. NS F.X T. NS F. NS T. NS F.X T. NS CV 15.4% 8.1% 11.8% % REFERENCES Ben, H. S Transpiration, water stress and gas exchange. In: Post harvest Physiology of Vegetables (J. Waichmann). Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York. pp: Blankenship, S. M., D.D. Ellsuworth and R. L. Powell A ripening index for banana fruit based on starch content. J. Hort. Technol. (3), Day, B.F.P Fruits and Vegetables. In: Principles and Applications of MAP of Foods (Parry, R.T.). Chapman and Hall. pp: Finney, E.E., I.G. Ben and D. R. Massie An objective evaluation of changes in firmness of ripening bananas using a sonic technique. J. Food Sci. (32): Karamura, D.A. and E.D. Karamura Bnanas morphology-part: the aerial shoot. In: Bananas and Plantains. Edited by S.Goven. Chapman and Hall. pp Kays, S.J Postharvest Physiology of Perishable Plant Products. Chapman and Hall, London. pp: Marriott, J Bananas. Physiology and biochemistry of storage and ripening for optimum quality. CRC Critical Reviews in Food Sci. and Nutrition. (13): Montenegro, E. H Post harvest behavior of banana harvested at different stage of maturity. Laguna: B.Sc Thesis Univ. Philippines at Los Banos.

10 Saeed Ahmad, et al. Effect of fruit size and temperature in Banana fruit. 54 Robinson, J.C Morphological Characteristics and Plant Development. In: Bananas and Plantains CABI Oxford. pp: Salunkhe, D. K., H.R. Bolin and N.R. Reddy Processing and Nutritional Quality of Fruits and Vegetables Second Edition Volume 1. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Seymour, G. B Banana. In: Biochemistry of fruit ripening. Edited by G B Seymour, J E Taylor and G A Tucker. 1 st ed. Chapman and Hall, London. pp: Ssemwanga, J. K The investigation of post harvest quality of fresh and matooke bananas. PhD Thesis, Silsoe College, Cranfield Univ. Silsoe, UK. Stover, R. H. and N. W. Simmonds Bananas. 3 rd Ed. Longman, London. pp: Thompson, A. K Postharvest Technology of Fruits and Vegetables. 1 st ed. Blackwell Sci. Oxford. pp:

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