Combined effects of harvest stages, postharvest treatments, and storage duration on the quality of minimally processed litchi a preliminary study
One of the greatest postharvest limitations of litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) fruit is pericarp browning, which causes consumers rejection in the market while the edible portion is still in excellent condition. Using sulphur dioxide fumigation (SO2) to control the browning leaves undesirable residues and alters the taste. Therefore, minimal litchi processing could serve as an alternative method to curb postharvest losses. For this preliminary study, litchi fruits were harvested at two harvests stages (early and late), peeled, and immersed for 2 min in solutions containing citric acid (1%), calcium lactate (1%), citric acid (1%) plus calcium lactate (1%), and arils dipped in sodium hypochloride solution alone for 1 min (considered as control). The treated arils were packed in clamshell containers and stored at 1±0.5°C and 95% relative humidity for 12 days. The combination of harvest stages, postharvest treatments, and storage duration had a significant effect on pH, radical scavenging activity, and ascorbic acid content. On the last day of storage, litchi arils harvested early and treated with citric acid and calcium lactate presented better firmness and radical scavenging activity. Overall, harvesting the fruit late and treating it with citric acid alone or combined with calcium lactate could better maintain the mass loss, pH, and ascorbic acid content for up to 12 days under 1±0.5°C storage.
Nhleko, Z.V., Mphahlele, R.R., Caleb, O.J. and Mafeo, P.T. (2022). Combined effects of harvest stages, postharvest treatments, and storage duration on the quality of minimally processed litchi a preliminary study. Acta Hortic. 1349, 311-318
Litchi chinensis Sonn., food processing, maturity, citric acid, calcium lactate