Inderscience Publishers

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

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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 discolouration, less colour 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 discolouration 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 colour development of coated fruits during ripening.

Keywords: edible coatings, modified chitosan, peppermint essential oil, papaya marketability, chitosan coating, papaya fruit quality, postharvest papaya fruit, antifungal agents, peel discolouration, hydrophobicity

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