Research Results Reveal Ways to Extend the Shelf Life of Limes
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Intira Lichanporn, permanent professor in RMUTT’s Faculty of Agricultural Technology revealed research results regarding the effects of alginate coating and storage temperature on the physical and chemical qualities of limes. Mr. Kriangkrai Daosaengpetch and Ms. Vanida Kannongha, fourth year students in RMUTT’s Division of Food Science and Technology said that a fruit’s shelf life can be extended by controlling the spoilage process via limiting the fruit’s respiration rate postharvest.
Moreover, limes are grown in all regions in Thailand and play an important role in the Thai lifestyle as it is widely used as ingredients in cooking and is highly demanded in the market. Lime prices may increase up to 10-fold during the dry season. Limes have been categorized as fruits that have a low respiration rate and emit low quantities of ethylene, resulting in a short harvest period. Thus, research has been conducted regarding the effects of alginate coating and storage temperature on the physical and chemical qualities of limes because the color of the peel changes from green to yellow and brown within two weeks, at room temperature.
Results from coating limes with concentrated alginate at 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4%, respectively, yielded that limes have a shelf life of 10 days when kept at 25 oC and 35 days when kept at 4 oC as alginate slows down lime’s weight loss compared to limes that have not been coated. Also, limes coated with 4% alginate are harder compared to other lime samples. When limes coated with 4% alginate are kept at 4 oC, the rate of the lime’s weight loss can be further slowed down compared to limes that have not been coated, resulting in a shelf life of 35 days. Additionally, analyses of research results may aid in maintaining the quality of limes, extending its shelf life, and help those that would like to preserve their produce, as well as farmers, whom can sell more limes without having to worry about spoilage.