Asia-pacific Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology | 2019
Improvement of microbiological quality, antioxidant content and shelf life of jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana cv. BAU Kul) fruit by gamma irradiation
Postharvest loss of inherently perishable fruits is a matter of serious concern for the farmers and traders. Reduction of postharvest loss is one of the key components for ensuring food security. A study was carried out to reduce the postharvest loss of BAU Kul, an improved variety of jujube fruit (Ziziphus mauritiana), by using gamma irradiation. Different doses of gamma irradiation (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 kGy) was applied to the jujube fruit samples and the microbiological quality, antioxidant content and shelf life of those fruits were evaluated. Gamma irradiation initially caused significant reduction of the total heterotrophic bacteria, coliform as well as yeast and mold counts. However, the counts increased in both irradiated and non-irradiated fruit samples with the passage of storage period but the increment was significantly less in the 1.5 kGy irradiated samples. Irradiation played active role in the enhancement of total phenolics and flavonoids contents. The concentration of these antioxidants remained higher in irradiated samples in comparison to non-irradiated control samples throughout the storage period. However, the ascorbic acid content decreased gradually with the increase of radiation dose and storage period. The overall acceptability of the fruit samples was determined by the taste-taking panelist. The irradiated (1.0 and 1.5 kGy) fruits were acceptable up to 8 days whereas control and 0.5 kGy irradiated fruits lost their acceptability during storage. The study revealed that 1.5 kGy irradiation can improve microbiological quality and extend the shelf life of jujube fruits (cv. BAU Kul) without significant loss of overall antioxidant content and sensory attributes.