Physico-Chemical Assessment of Herb Treated Sweet Oranges (<i>Citrus sinensis</i>) Osberk stored in Evaporative Cooler
Keywords:Thyme, Garlic, Eugenia clove, Lemon grass extracts, Proximate analyses
Large quantities of oranges produced in Nigeria are wasted during post-harvest handling and storage which result in nutritional losses. Therefore there is a need to understand the physico chemical properties, handling and storage of oranges. Hand-plucked matured green sweet oranges were dipped in 15% aqueous extracts of Thymus vulgaris (Thyme), Allium sativum (Garlic), Eugenia aromatica (Clove) and Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon grass). The pre-storage treated oranges were stored inside evaporative cooler. The oranges treated with C.citratus and A.sativum stored for thirty five days while oranges treated with E. aromatica and T. vulgaris stored for fifty two days. Control oranges (untreated) stored for only seven days. Chemical parameters monitored weekly were pH, ash content, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, total reducing sugar and vitamin C. The study revealed that local herbs and condiments can safely be used to preserve sweet oranges after harvesting. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance and least significant difference (LSD) (Pâ‰¥0.05) was used for mean separation. There was no effect of the pre-storage treatments on the physico chemical analyses (Pâ‰¥0.05). There were little or no difference in the results of analyses of the treated oranges stored in the evaporative cooler. This study revealed that local herbs and condiments can be safely used to preserve sweet oranges after harvesting.
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