Respiratory Weight Loss in Yam (Dioscorea rotundata Poir) Tubers, Fruits of Valencia Oranges (Citrus sinensis L.) And Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Stored Using Plant Derived Materials as Protective Coatings in Zaria, Nigeria
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the relative effectiveness of applying locally derived plant products, namely oil from groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) seeds and juice extracted from lime (Citrus aurantifolia L.) fruits on respiratory weight loss of yam (Dioscorea rotundata Poir) tubers and fruits of Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) during storage under ambient conditions, in the Savanna region of Nigeria. Rate of weight loss during early periods of the observation was minimal in all the three stored products when groundnut oil coating was applied and maximal in uncoated products. Mean weight loss was reduced by both lime and groundnut oil coatings, although, for yam and Valencia oranges this was significantly (p=0.05) lower for groundnut oil coatings than lime juice coatings. In tomato fruits the differences in weight loss between fruits treated with the two coating materials at the termination of observation period was not significant. Weight loss was generally attributed to respiration and transpiration and groundnut oil was seen as a possible alternative to synthetic waxes in controlling this process in stored yams, oranges and tomatoes, in rural communities under tropical savanna conditions.
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