Pg. 49-52 Effect of coating sulphured Madras litchi fruits with PolymerCoat shortly after harvest on the incidence of Penicillium colonization after extended cold-storage

Coating Madras litchis with a polymer formulation was assessed as a measure to prevent or limit moisture loss and Penicillium colonization during and after extended cold-storage. The fruits were stored at 1°C for 28 days, and were subsequently evaluated 8 and 10 days after cold-storage; the evaluations taking place at ambient temperature. Export cartons of Madras litchi fruits were coated with PolymerCoat directly after packing. The fruits were harvested and sulphured the day before treatment. PolymerCoat was applied at 25, 50, 75 or 100% concentrations. Uncoated fruits served as controls. PolymerCoat was effective in reducing moisture loss during cold storage and inhibiting Penicillium fruit colonization, particularly when applied at full strength. Ninety-five percent of the fruits treated at full strength were devoid of Penicillium 10 days after cold-storage – 39 days after harvesting. Weight loss during coldstorage was reduced by 5%. Taste appeal and juice total soluble solids content were reduced by coating, but not to levels resulting in lesser appeal. Coating appeared be greatly beneficial as a treatment for Madras fruits destined to be exported by sea to the EU. Coating at full strength might be recommended. Further assessment is required for result confirmation, as well as to determine the influence maturation stage or fruit source may have regarding effect.

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