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Efficiency of edible coating chitosan and cinnamic acid to prolong the shelf life of tomatoes
Faculty of Agro-Based Industry, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Jeli Campus, Kelantan, Malaysia
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Abstract : Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a large target commodity for Malaysia’s export trade. However, tomato is a perishable climacteric fruit that requires favourable conditions to maintain its freshness from farm to the table. Its fast ageing process tends to attract pathogens that reduce the shelf life of a detached tomato, hence affecting its quality causing severe losses to the agropreneurs (Anderson et al., 2014). Therefore, there is a dire need for a mechanism to maintain the freshness of tomatoes. This study aims to examine the effects of chitosan and cinnamic acid as edible coatings to prolong the shelf life of tomatoes. Chitosan plays a role as an antifungal agent whereas cinnamic acid possesses antimicrobial properties that help to improve the shelf life of tomatoes (Bautista-Baños et al. (2006). In the study, Chitosan and cinnamic acid coatings were applied on fresh graded tomatoes at two maturity stages; breakers and turning. The samples were observed every three days for a total period of 12 days at ambient temperature. The results showed that a single coating of chitosan (0.5 %) had a positive impact on the total soluble solids (TSS), firmness, hue angle and weight loss of the samples. On the other hand, cinnamic acid (2mM) influenced the firmness, weight loss and TSS value of the tomatoes. The coatings inhibit respiration and minimise starch conversion into sugar that could lead to lowered sugar (TSS) content. The restriction on respiration ensures firmness and delay the colour change of fruits at a particular period. The slowing of the ripening process that causes ageing and weight loss in fruits is reduced. Both coatings were proven to be highly feasible for application in various industries due to their edible, non-toxic and biodegradable nature.
Keywords : chitosan,cinnamic acid,edible coating,tomat