Impact of evaporative cooling preservation on the shelf life of fruits and vegetable in South Western Nigeria
Research in Agricultural Engineering
Department of Agricultural and Bio Resources Engineering, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, P.M.B. 7267, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria; Department of Agricultural Engineering, School of Eng
Maintaining the freshness of vegetables and fruits even for a short period in a tropical environment is difficult. Fresh fruits and vegetables usually deteriorate faster than other products because they increase in respiration while in storage, due to high moisture content and high tropical heat which lead to a number of physical and physiological changes affecting the viability, quality and marketability of the produce. The use of evaporative cooling system showed improvement in the shelf life of fruits and vegetables stored. The stored vegetables in the cooler showed higher moisture and vitamin C content while the withered control has higher ash, protein, fibre and carbohydrate content. However, the fruits stored in the cooler had lower vitamin C and higher moisture than the control which showed good quality and crispiness while the control deteriorated at the same period. The results suggest that the integration of evaporative cooling system with good sanitation along the marketing channel from the harvest point until the consumption point will help to attain high quality level of freshness for some period.