New Treatment To Extend Shelf Life For Bananas

First Posted: Oct 08, 2015 10:23 AM EDT

The short shelf life of bananas will be extended through a new treatment, according to a recent news release.  

The new study revealed that a post-harvest treatment with a natural phospholipid (a type of fatty acid) can extend bananas' shelf life, which will be beneficial for both producers and consumers, according to scientists Zienab F.R. Ahmed from South Valley University in Egypt, and Jiwan P. Palta from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Previous studies conducted in our laboratory have demonstrated that both pre- and post-harvest application of lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE) can retard aging and improve shelf life of various fruits," the researchers revealed.

"In this study we investigated the possibility of improving shelf life of banana fruit by a post-harvest dip in LPE," they added.

In the experiment, bananas that were at their "ripeness stage" (about 75 percent green) were dipped in the 500 ppm LPE solution for 30 minutes, and observed for 5 days at room temperature.

Each treatment was applied to 50 uniform bananas.

"Five days after dip treatment, the fruit treated with LPE were firmer and thicker as compared with the untreated control," the authors revealed. "Starch breakdown was also delayed in the LPE-treated fruits. LPE treatment slowed the development of brown spots on the peel tissue."

LPE improves the shelf life by maintaining membrane integrity, reducing respiration, and slowing the breakdown of starch and cell walls during the ripening and senescence of banana fruit tissue, according to the researchers.

The study indicated that the post-harvest dip treatment can improve the shelf life of banana fruit by 1 to 2 days.

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