Mango is a highly perishable fruit with a shorter shelf-life if not well preserved immediately after harvest. Maintaining a proper cold chain management from the time of harvest till the fruit reaches the consumer is key in preservation of quality for harvested fruits and vegetables. However, the use of proper cold chain management is always avoided by players in the mango value chain because of its perceived complexity and other logistical challenges. Creating awareness by training and demonstrating using simple good practices and low cost technologies (proper harvesting time, precooling and cold storage of harvested fruits) will be of need to help change the mindset on use of cold chain management to reduce post-harvest losses in mangoes. A study was set to evaluate the effect of proper cold chain management on preservation of postharvest quality of harvested mangoes. Homogeneous mature green ‘Kent’ mangoes were harvested in the morning and at midday. Fruits harvested in the morning were stored under ambient conditions and in the CoolbotTM cold room. For fruits harvested at midday, one batch was precooled in the evaporative charcoal cooler until temperatures stabilized at 22.5o C stored in the CoolbotTM cold room while the other batch was stored under ambient conditions without precooling. Changes in pulp temperature, physiological weight loss, colour, firmness and total soluble solids were determined throughout the storage. Results showed that fruits under ambient conditions had cumulative weight loss of 13.3% and 12.6% for fruits harvested in the morning and midday respectively. Those in the CoolbotTM cold room, cumulatively lost 10.5% and 9.7% of weight for fruits harvested in the morning and midday respectively on their final day. There was a significant difference in fruit colour, firmness and total soluble solids for fruits in the CoolbotTM cold room as compared to fruits stored in ambient conditions but the difference in harvesting time was not significant. Fruits harvested at midday and stored in ambient conditions had the shortest shelf life of 13 days while all fruits in the CoolbotTM cold room had a longer shelf life of 32 days. Harvesting fruits in the morning or precooling in the charcoal cooler followed by storage in CoolbotTM cold room extended shelf life of harvested mangoes. Proper cold chain management can be adopted by farmers doing fruit aggregation to attain right tonnage for buyers and later processing.
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RUFORUM Working document series
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