Effects of different materials for banana bunch covers during winter in Thailand

S. Chaiwong, R. Saengrayap, C. Prahsarn
Chilling injury is a crucial problem of ‘Cavendish’ banana during winter in northern Thailand. Traditionally, a thin polystyrene (PS) sheet is used as insulation in winter to protect banana bunches from chilling injury. This study investigated the influences of different materials for ‘Cavendish’ banana bunch covers on fruit maturity and quality. The bunch cover material consisting of 4 layers: a thin non-woven (TNW, inner layer), paper, a thin polystyrene (PS) sheet and blue non-perforated polyethylene film (BPE) (outer layer) was used as control cover (CC). For the other four treatments, non-woven (NW) was used in place of paper and PS layers, waterproof non-woven (WPNW) and aluminum foil (ALF) were used in place of BPE. Four cover treatments with different materials and a total number of layers included: 1) NW (3 layers), 2) WPNW (2 layers), 3) ALF (2 layers) and 4) WPNW+ALF (2 layers). Banana covers were placed on bunches from January 19 to April 5, 2018. Quality of mature green and ripening bananas was determined on the top and middle hands of the bunch. No chilling injury was found in any cover treatment during late winter. Fruit from the control treatment had higher hand weight and pulp per peel ratio than fruit from the other four covers (P≤0.05). This could be related to the higher maximum, daytime and average temperatures inside the control treatment. Heat accumulation inside the control cover, with the thermal insulated PS sheet, resulted in sunburn injury on fruit, particularly on the top hand of the bunch. There was no difference in fruit size and weight (P>0.05). ALF treatment gave the highest value of lightness (L*) (P≤0.05). It is suggested that waterproof non-woven and aluminium foil treatments could be used as ‘Cavendish’ banana bunch covers in late winter to prevent or reduce chilling and sunburn injury problems.
Chaiwong, S., Saengrayap, R. and Prahsarn, C. (2019). Effects of different materials for banana bunch covers during winter in Thailand. Acta Hortic. 1245, 21-28
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1245.3
bagging material, 'Cavendish', fruit quality, non-woven, temperature

Acta Horticulturae