Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 75, No 3 (2010)

Identification of Abiotic and Biotic Factors Causing Deterioration During Storage and Development of Storage Techniques for Mahua (Madhuca indica Syn. Bassia latifolia) flowers

Basanta Kumar DAS

Pages: 119-125


Mahua (Madhuca indica syn. Bassia latifolia) flowers, occupy an important position in the life of the tribal in many parts of India. Particularly, the flowers of the plant are sugar rich and in certain cases it is the only source of livelihood for those people. However, its nutrient quality deteriorates during the postharvest storage and thus, poses a serious problem of adequate storage. In order to determine the cause of spoilage and to develop the measures to check it, collected flowers were stored using two methods in this investigation; first, under normally practiced conditions (NPS), i.e., the practice adopted by the flower’s collectors, and second, oven dried, powdered with liquid nitrogen, and stored at 00C (±10C) in different small airtight sterilized vials labelled as laboratory processed samples (LPS). Both LPS and NPS were stored for a year i.e. from one harvesting season to the next. Experiments were carried out, at every month interval, to identify the factors responsible for spoilage of flowers during storage. LPS did not exhibit deterioration in the nutrient value throughout the year of storage, but NPS showed spoilage due to various biotic and abiotic factors comprised of moisture, temperature and microorganisms. To check postharvest spoilage various innovative storage techniques like physical and chemical treatments were experimented. Results revealed that storage at low temperature by liquid nitrogen treatment and chemical conversion to oxalic acid were the most effective techniques for a long-term storage.


postharvest storage; nutrient spoilage; abiotic factors; biotic factors; physical

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