Article

Effect of Edible Coatings from Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during Ambient storage

Abstract

Extension of the shelf life of orange fruits continues to be a challenge in Nigeria. The search forsafe, healthy and environmental friendly treatments has led to increased interest in research into edible and biodegradable films and coatings. In this work, the use of Aloe vera gel as a coating to extend the shelf-life of orange fruits was investigated. The oranges were stored at ambient temperature (27+2oC) and at 50-60% relative humidity for five weeks. During ambient storage, uncoated fruits showed 43.11% and 60.63 % increases in total soluble solids and reducing sugar contents respectively. Rapid weight loss and loss of firmness were also observed. The above parameters which are related to post- harvest quality loss were however significantly controlled in the oranges coated with A. vera gel. Percent increase in total soluble solids 56.89% and reducing sugar contents 39.36% were observed. The storability of orange fruits was extended by five weeks. It was concluded that A. vera gel used as a coating for orange could serve as an alternative to post-harvest chemical treatments.
J. Agric. Res. & Dev. 11(1). Copy@2012. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin
Effect of Edible Coatings from Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during
Ambient storage.
C.O. ADETUNJI1, O.B. FAWOLE2, J.K. OLOKE4, J.B. ADETUNJI3 and O.R.
MAKANJUOLA4
1Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute, Km 3 Asa Dam Road, P.M.B. 1489, Ilorin,
2University of Ilorin, Department of Agronomy, P.M.B.1515, Ilorin, Kwara State.
3University of Ilorin, Department of Biochemistry, P.M.B.1515, Ilorin, Kwara State
4Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Department of Pure and Applied Biology P.M.B
4000, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
e-mail charliguitar@yahoo.com; yemisifawole@yahoo.com; jkoloke@yahoo.co.uk
callbumbum@yahoo.com; markosuolale@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
Extension of the shelf life of orange fruits continues to be a challenge in Nigeria. The search for
safe, healthy and environmental friendly treatments has led to increased interest in research into
edible and biodegradable films and coatings. In this work, the use of Aloe vera gel as a coating to
extend the shelf-life of orange fruits was investigated. The oranges were stored at ambient
temperature (27+2oC) and at 50-60% relative humidity for five weeks. During ambient storage,
uncoated fruits showed 43.11% and 60.63 % increases in total soluble solids and reducing sugar
contents respectively. Rapid weight loss and loss of firmness were also observed. The above
parameters which are related to post- harvest quality loss were however significantly controlled in
the oranges coated with A. vera gel. Percent increase in total soluble solids 56.89% and reducing
sugar contents 39.36% were observed. The storability of orange fruits was extended by five weeks.
It was concluded that A. vera gel used as a coating for orange could serve as an alternative to
post-harvest chemical treatments.
Keywords: Shelf life, Orange Fruits, Aloe vera
INTRODUCTION
The sweet orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), is the most commonly grown
tree fruit in the world (Morton, 1987). Citrus fruits are produced all around the
world and world citrus production in selected major producing countries in
2005/2006 is 72.8 million metric tons. Citrus fruits are said to be the first crops
in the international trade in terms of values (CIAC, 2002).
Edible coatings are thin layers of edible material applied to the product surface
in addition to or as a replacement for natural protective waxy coatings and
provide a barrier to moisture, oxygen and solute movement for the food (Smith
et al., 1987; Nisperos-Carriedo et al., 1992; Guilbert et al., 1996; Lerdthanangkul
78
C.O. ADETUNJI et al
and Krochta, 1996; Avena-Bustillos et al., 1997; McHugh and Senesi, 2000). They
are applied directly on the food surface by dipping, spraying or brushing to
create a modified atmosphere (Guilbert et al., 1996; Krochta and Mulder-
Johnston, 1997; McHugh and Senesi, 2000).
Recently there has been increased interest in using Aloe vera gel as an edible
coating material for fruits and vegetables driven by its antifungal activities,
biodegradability and eco-friendliness. (Saks et al., 1995; Martinez-Romero et al.,
2003 ; Rodriguez de Jasso et al., 2005). Aloe vera based edible coatings have
been shown to prevent loss of moisture and firmness control, respiration rate
and maturation development, delay oxidative browning, and reduce
microorganism proliferation in fruits such as sweet cherry, table grapes and
nectarines (Valverde et al.,2005; Martinez-Romero et al.,2006; Ahmed et
al.,2009) .
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Preparation of Aloe vera gel (edible coatings):
Matured leaves of Aloe vera plant were harvested and washed with a mild
(25%) chlorine solution.. Aloe vera gel matrix was then separated from the
outer cortex of leave and this colorless hydroparenchyma was grounded in a
blender .The resulting mixture was filtered to remove the fibers. The liquid
obtained constituted fresh Aloe vera gel. The gel matrix was pasteurized at 70oC
for 45min. For stabilization, the gel was cooled immediately to an ambient
temperature and ascorbic acid (1.9 - 2.0g L-1) was then added. Citric acid (4.5 -
4.6gL-1) was added to maintain the pH at 4. The viscosity of the stabilized Aloe
vera gel and its coating efficiency was improved by adding 1% commercial
gelling agent before use as coating agent. It was later stored in brown Amber
bottle to prevent oxidation of the gel (He et al.,2005).
Source of oranges: Freshly harvested oranges were procured from a local
market in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. They were selected on the basis of size,
color and absence of external injuries. Fresh leaves of Aloe vera were obtained
from the garden of the Nigeria Stored products Research Institute, Ilorin.
Surface preparation of the oranges: Surface preparation was primarily to
remove all contaminants that would hinder proper coating adhesion and to
render a sound clean substrate, suitable for firm bonding. Surface sterilization
of the oranges was carried out by soaking them in 25% hypochlorite solution for
two minutes.
79
Effect of Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during storage
Treatments
To (control):- Untreated oranges.
T1:- Oranges coated with Aloe vera gel.
The treated and untreated oranges were packed in small plastic baskets and
each basket contained 20 orange fruits. The baskets were stored at ambient
temperature (27+2oC) and at 50-60% relative humidity .Physiochemical analysis
were carried out from 1-5weeks after coating.
Total soluble solids (TSS):- Total soluble solids (TSS) were measured by the
method described by Dong et al. (2001) .Individual orange fruit from each of the
treatment were ground in an electric juice extractor for fresh prepare juice.
Soluble solids content were measured using T/C hand refractometer in Brix%
(Model 10430 porx-reading 0.30 ranges Bausch and Lomb CO. Calif., USA.
Firmness: - Firmness was measured as the maximum penetration force (N)
reached during tissue breakage, and determined with a 5 mm diameter flat
probe. The penetration depth was 5 mm and the cross-head speed was 5 mm
s_1 using a TA-XT2 Texture Analyzer (Stable Micro Systems, Godalming, UK), MA.
Oranges were sliced into halves and each half was measured in the central zone.
Water content: - The water content of the orange fruit was determined using
the following equation.
Water content (%) 100 x M1-M2
M1
Where: M1 = Mass of sample before drying in g.
M2 = Mass of sample after drying, in g.
Reducing sugar
The reducing sugar of oranges was determined using Fehling’s method
(Mendham et al., 2000 ) while the ascorbic acid content was measured using 2,
5-6 dicholorophenol indophenols’ method (A.O.A.C 1994).
Statistics
The results of this investigation are means of six measurements. To verify the
statistical significance of all parameters the values of means ± S.E. were
calculated.
80
0
50
100
1
2
3
4
5
6
% water loss
Duration (in weeks)
Fig 1: Effect of Aloe vera gel on water content of orange fruit
uncoated
0
5
10
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
Total soluble
solid
Duration( in weeks)
Fig 2: Effect of Aloe vera gel on T S S of orange fruits during storage at
uncoated
0
5
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
Reducing sugar
Duration ( in Weeks)
Fig 3:Effect of Aloe vera gel on Reducing sugar of orange fruits during
storage at ambient temperature
uncoated
0
5000
1
2
3
4
5
6
Firmness(N)
Duration (in weeks)
Fig 4:Effect of Aloe vera gel on Firmness of orange fruits during
storage at ambient temperature
uncoated
0
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
Vc (mg/ml -1)
Duration in weeks
Fig5:Effect of Aloe vera gel on Vitamin C of orange fruit during
ambient storage
uncoated
81
Effect of Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during storage
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Water content
The mean±SE value for the weight loss of coated oranges was 64.09±7.13 while
the mean±SE value for the weight loss of uncoated oranges was 89.65±5.82.
These results are in agreement with those of Mahmoud and Savello (1992) and
Avena-Bustillos et al. (1997) who concluded that coatings and/or films
significantly conserved water content.
Post harvest weight changes in fruits and vegetables are usually due to the loss
of water through transpiration. This loss of water can lead to wilting and
shriveling which both reduce a commodity’s marketability. Edible films and
coatings can also offer a possibility to extend the shelf life of fresh-cut produce
by providing a semi-permeable barrier to gases and water
vapor and therefore, they can reduce respiration, enzymatic browning and
water loss (Guilbert, 1986; Baldwin & Nisperos-CarriedoBaker, 1995).
Total soluble solids (TSS)
The mean ± SE value for the TSS of coated orange was 8.025±0.9 while the the
mean ± SE value for the TSS of uncoated oranges was 6.08±1.63. These results
are in agreement with those of Smith and Stow (1984) who concluded that
coatings and/or films significantly affected TSS.
Soluble solids content of coated and uncoated oranges stored under cold
condition was decreased at the end of the storage period. The loss of soluble
solids during storage period is as natural as sugars which are the primary
constituent of the soluble solids content of a product consumed by respiration
and used for the metabolic activities of the fruits (Özden & Bayindirli, 2002).
The mean±SE value for the reducing sugar of coated oranges was 7.61±0.45
while the mean±SE value for the reducing sugar of uncoated oranges was
4.94±0.92.These results are in agreement with those of Ahmad and Khan (1987),
El Ghaouth et al. (1991) and Li and Yu (2000) and McHugh and Senesi (2000)
who concluded that coatings and/or films significantly affected reducing sugar
content of produce.
The mean±SE value for the firmness of the coated was 3554.33±368.22 while
the mean±SE value for the uncoated was 2708.67±626.19. Lerdthanangkul and
Krochta (1996) also made similar observations and concluded that coatings
and/or films significantly affected firmness of fruits in storage. The softening
process in orange has been reported to be dependent on the increase in
polygalacturonase, ßgalactosidase and pectinmethylesterase activities
82
C.O. ADETUNJI et al
(Batisse et al., 1996; Gerardi et al., 2001; Rem´on et al., 2003), being responsible
for fruit quality loss. A. vera treatment significantly reduced the firmness losses
(more than 50%) during ambient storage compared with the control fruits. In
addition, A. vera gel probably had some effects on the reduction of cell wall
degrading-enzymes responsible for orange softening. These results show
beneficial effects of the Aloe vera coating on increasing the orange shelf life,
since it has been postulated that fruit softening and texture changes during the
orange storage determine fruit storability and shelf life as well as reduced
incidence of decay and less susceptibility to mechanical damage (Batisse et al.,
1996; Vidrih et al., 1998).
The mean±SE value for the coated orange for Vitamin C was 6.48±0.50 while the
mean±SE value for the uncoated was 5.41±0.51. Ascorbic acid is lost due to the
activities of phenoloxidase and ascorbic acid oxidase enzymes during storage
past workers (Salunkhe et al., 1991 Weichmann et al. 1985), while studying
green bean, spinach and broccoli, postulated that the lower the oxygen content
of the storage atmosphere, the smaller is the loss of ascorbic acid. The claim
was that the oxidation of Vitamin C was mainly regulated by ascorbic acid
oxidase and other oxidases, most of which had a low affinity for oxygen.
Ascorbic acid content decreased for cherries stored at both ambient
temperature and cold temperatures. Aloe vera gel coatings were effective in
reducing the ascorbic acid loss for both storage conditions (Fig. 5). At the
ambient temperature, the ascorbic acid contents of Aloe vera gel coated orange
were significantly different from the control orange. The reduction of ascorbic
acid loss in coated orange was due to the low oxygen permeability of Aloe vera
gel coating which lowered the activity of the enzymes and prevented oxidation
of ascorbic acid.
The effect of low temperature significantly reduced the ascorbic acid loss. This
shows the effect of temperature on the activities of the related enzymes.
CONCLUSION
Aloe vera gel, applied as edible coating in orange fruit, has beneficial effects in
retarding the ripening process. This treatment was effective as a physical barrier
and thus reduced the weight loss during postharvest storage. In addition, A.
vera gel delayed softening, ascorbic acid and TSS losses and maintained the
quality of the orange fruits.
83
Effect of Aloe vera gel on Citrus sinensis during storage
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... These unique properties make Aloe vera a candidate for edible coatings to prevent spoilage, reduce microorganism proliferation and maintain the quality of fruit during storage . The Aloe gel coating has been also shown to enhance the post-harvest quality of fruits (Adetunji et al., 2012a;Adetunji et al., 2012b;Adetunji et al., 2013;Benítez et al., 2013;Guillen et al., 2013;Adetunji et al., 2014a). ...
... The faster rate in the TSS increment in the untreated fruits might be due to faster metabolic activities through respiration and transpiration (Rokaya et al., 2016). A researcher reported that the increase in total soluble solids, reducing sugar content, weight loss and loss of firmness was significantly controlled in oranges coated with A. vera gel (Adetunji, 2012). The increase in TSS during the storage may be due to sugar synthesis from organic acid and degradation of cell wall leading to increase in total dissolved solids increase, hydrolytic enzymes or waste water under storage conditions as stated (Nasirifar et al., 2018). ...
... Edible coatings, similar to modified atmosphere packaging, have been shown to protect horticultural products from mechanical damage, transpiration, respiration, and pathogen infection by providing a beneficial semi-permeable film around the fruit (Falguera et al., 2011 ). Edible coatings based on polysaccharides, for example mixtures of starch, chitosan, locust bean gum (Rojas-Argudo et al., 2009), carrageenan and carboxymethyl cellulose (Togrul and Arslan, 2004), aloe vera (Adetunji et al., 2012 ), galactomannans (Cerqueira et al., 2011), and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (Valencia-Chamorro et al., 2009), have been investigated as a means of improving the storability of citrus fruits. Among them, sodium alginate, a polysaccharide derived from marine brown algae, has played a dominant role due to its unique colloidal properties and its ability to form strong gels in aqueous solutions. ...
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A sucrose-ester coating material was tested for its potential as a storage technique and as an extender of the shelf life of apple (cv. Cox's Orange Pippin). Apples treated with 1·25% sucrose ester formulation were stored in air at 3·5°C for up to 5 months. Sucrose ester treatment did not reduce detrimental changes in terms of fruit firmness, yellowing and weight loss but did increase core flush incidence. When applied after storage, the sucrose ester reduced yellowing and loss of firmness and markedly increased internal carbon dioxide levels during a 21 day simulated marketing period. Effects were enhanced with increasing sucrose ester concentrations between 1% and 4%. Sucrose ester did not markedly reduce weight loss in the fruit, did not cause accumulation of alcohol or induce any internal physiological disorders during the simulated marketing period. Treatment of fruit with an external atmosphere containing 8% carbon dioxide, a level similar to that found in fruit treated with 3% sucrose ester, did not have the same effects as 3% sucrose ester on firmness or ground colour changes, suggesting that the effects of the sucrose ester are not solely the result of the raised carbon dioxide level.