Conference Paper

Determination of Freshness of Eggplant Using Some Physical Parameters

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Abstract

Surface gloss, stiffness and density were considered to be the prime contributors to the freshness of eggplant fruit. The freshness index was defined as the ratio of product of relative spectral reflectance (surface gloss) and stiffness ratios to the density ratio. Surface gloss was measured in terms of relative spectral reflectance using a computerized spectral radiometer system while stiffness was determined as an initial slope of force deformation curve obtained on a uniaxial compression testing machine. Weight and volume for computing density of eggplant were determined by standard methods. These parameters were changed to consumers’ acceptable limit by storing the eggplants for different periods at 25±2°C temperature and 90±5 % relative humidity. Experiments were replicated 5-8 times and the average values were used to compute dimensionless ratios (values at any time divided by initial value) that were later used to determine the freshness index. Various forms of equations were tested for best fitting to the data. Freshness index of eggplant fruit decreased exponentially with storage period while it varied in form of power equation of weight and density ratios. It attained the lowest value (5.6 %) at acceptable limit of weight ratio of about 0.87. The best relationships between freshness index with weight and density ratios was found to be in form of power equation (correlation coefficient 0.99) while decrease in price of eggplant was seen linear (correlation 0.98) with computed freshness index by these equations. This showed that the developed freshness index might estimate the price of eggplants using these equations satisfactorily.

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... Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a common vegetable available in retail outlets worldwide but has a very limited shelf life for freshness (1)(2)(3). It is also known as aubergine, guinea squash or brinjal and a good source of vitamins and minerals (particularly iron) making its total nutritional value comparable with tomato (4). ...
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