Influence of novel coconut oil and beeswax edible coating and MAP on postharvest shelf life and quality attributes of lemon at low temperature
Weight loss, turning of peel colour from green to yellow and microbial infections are the major postharvest problems of lemon. Lipid-based edible coatings and modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) are effective techniques in maintaining postharvest quality of fruits for long-term storage. With this view, an investigation was conducted for the preservation of green lemon using coconut oil and beeswax edible coating and MAP during storage at low temperature. Physiologically matured lemons were collected and washed with potable water; fruit surface water was removed and then coated with coconut oil-beeswax (90:10) or only coconut oil. After coating, lemons were packaged in MAP or kept in open crates and stored at 12±1 °C and 85±5% relative humidity (RH) for 8 weeks and a week interval, the sampling was conducted. The results revealed that coconut oil-beeswax coating had immense effect on retaining shiny green colour, reducing respiration, weight loss, shrivelling and preserving firmness and ascorbic acid of lemon throughout the storage. On the other hand, MAP mainly helped to retain moisture & firmness and reduce shrivelling. Uncoated lemons kept open lost the highest amount of ascorbic acid and retained only 13.7 mg/100 g that is significantly (p < 0.05) less than the lemons of all other treatments at 8th week of storage period. While lemons coated with coconut oil-beeswax and packaged in MAP was preserved the highest amount (24.2 mg/100 g) of ascorbic acid and there was no significant difference (p < 0.05) with the amount of ascorbic acid content of lemons coated with only coconut oil and packaged in MAP at the last week (8th week) of storage. Hue angle value was 93.4 in uncoated lemons packaged in MAP while it was 113.67 in coconut oil-beeswax coated lemon kept open and 112.64 in lemon coated with coconut oil-beeswax and packaged in MAP at 8th week of storage. Based on all sensory, physical and chemical parameters uncoated lemons kept open was acceptable up to 1 week, coconut oil-beeswax coated lemon kept open was 6 weeks and coconut oil-beeswax coated lemon packaged in MAP was 8 weeks with good quality and shiny green colour.