Lipid-based edible coatings improve shelf life and sensory quality without affecting ascorbic acid content of white bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.)

A. H. Simonne, C. M. Moore, N. R. Green, E. H. Simonne, M.G. F. Chowdhury, J. K. Brecht, R. D. Hagenmaier, F. M. Woods, R. R. Eitenmiller


Areas in the world without stable power need postharvest techniques that increase shelf life without refrigeration. The effects of candelilla wax coatings on bell peppers were followed during postharvest ambient storage. U.S. Fancy and No. 1 grade white bell peppers ‘Dove’ and ‘Ivory’ with no surface blemishes were washed and sanitized then coated or not on the day of harvest with formulations containing 8%, 15.2%, or 16% candelilla wax and stored for up to 21 days at 25 °C and 75% to 80% relative humidity. Uncoated peppers lost 15% of their original weight during 12 days of storage, whereas coated peppers only lost 5% of their original weight during the same period. Coatings delayed color change (yellowing), but did not significantly affect ascorbic acid content (P > 0.05). The coated peppers received higher sensory scores from panelists (n=15) in terms of firmness, color, glossiness, and overall preference. The concentration of candelilla wax in the coatings used in this study seemed to be adequate for gas exchange as determined by measurements of internal gas concentrations and the activities of alcohol dehydrogenase (EC and pyruvate decarboxylase (EC enzymes.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283