Effect of Gamma radiation on the shelf life extension of Bananas was investigated. The Bananas were treated with radiation of three doses 0.30kGy; 0.40kGy and 0.50kGy followed the storage at room temperature. The physical conditions of the treated and untreated Bananas were analyzed every 2 days intervals for their organoleptic properties till spoilage at room temperature in comparison to control. The chemical analyses of the treated and untreated Bananas were carried out quantitatively at intervals of 2-4 days at room temperature through out the storage period. A taste-testing panel of 16 panelists found out the acceptability of the fruit. The score given by the panelists for different attributes of the fruits were statistically analyzed to find out the acceptability of the fruit. The fruits treated with the three radiation doses contain 72.7%-75.7% Moisture, 2-22gm Carbohydrates, less than 1- 20gm Soluble sugar, 0.84-1.2gm Fibre, 0.5-0.7gm Pectin, 1.1-1.3gm Protein, 0.10-0.3gmFat, 0.8-1.4gm Ash, 10-26mg Ascorbic acid and 0.003-0. 001mg Beta-carotene per 100gm respectively and were found acceptable till 21-26 days at room temperature whereas in the case of control the fruits stored at room temperature spoiled within 3-6 days. Thus radiation can be the safe way for the shelf life extension of Bananas instead of chemical fumigation which is very much health hazardous.
Banana has been an important cultivated fruits from time immemorial and by far the most important tropical fruits (Farooqi et al., 1987). This is one of the superiors and largest cultivated fruits of Bangladesh (Ahmed et al., 1998). The edible Banana is indigenous to the warm moist parts of Asia. It is not only the staple food of millions of people, but is also the most important commercial fruit of the tropical areas of the world(Gottreich et al., 1969). In Bangladesh, Banana is a popular and economical fruit, which constitutes 42% of fruits(Mitra,1969). The important of this fruits is due to its high calories and
nutritive value and of its versatile use to the consumers. It contains appreciable amount of vitamin B and certain amount of vitamin A & C and also minerals, such as K, P, Ca, Fe, Na etc (Southgate, 1969). Various products like banana chips, banana figs, flour, powder, jam confectionery, dehydrated slice etc. can be prepared from banana(Ronald,1984). Banana is a perishable food items and cannot be preserved for longer time after harvesting. In relation to food, we have two major problems in Bangladesh. One is the food deficit and other is the post-harvest loss. The farmers could be encouraged for more production if spoilage could be prevented by proper preservation, which could result in increased and balanced consumption. Moreover, substantial amount of foreign exchange could be earned by exporting the fresh and processed products (Vendrell et al.,1971).From the prevailing condition it seems that the lack of suitable preservation methods is a major factor contributing to the primary limitation to production and consumption of increased amount of the fruit.
In developing countries, the processing and preservation of food have taken the form of commercial food industries where sophisticated techniques and equipment are being employed. But at present, there is dearth skilled manpower, machineries and capital to establish modern processing industries in Bangladesh (Spalding et al.,1988). In view of the above-mentioned limitations and the prevailing socio-economic conditions, we have to start from low cost labor-intensive technologies for food preservation in a small scale at the first instance and then gradually shift towards large-scale industrialization. Thus developing a processed product in Bangladesh should not involve major changes in habits(Quinn, 1967)[ 9].
Post harvest fruits losses due to insect infection are a serious, costly and worldwide problem. Ethylene Dibromide (EDB), one of the most effective and widely used fumigant for fruits and vegetables, has been highly controversial in recent years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) subsequently banned the EDB in the USA in September 1984 as a fumigant for fruits and vegetables and soil (Maxie,1971). Ethylene Dibromide (EDB), which has been used as an effective fumigant for fruit for over 40 years in the USA. EDB became a controversy in the mid-1970\u2019s when a National Cancer Institute (NCI, USA) study showed the chemical to be cancer-causing agent in experimental animals (Stover, 1970)[ 11 ].
When an effective fumigant is banned, it creates the problem of finding an alternative or substitute that can do the same job or better. Ionizing radiation in the form of Gamma- radiation or high-energy electrons has been studied for over 30 years around the world as a food preservation technique. It is potentially feasible substitute for chemical fumigation of fruits and vegetables. The advantages of irradiation over chemical fumigation for decontamination and disinfestations are briefly explained in view of the fact that irradiation could become the most effective substitute for chemical fumigants. The use of low dose radiation for insect disinfestations is emerging as a possible substitute for chemical fumigation because of recent events and controversies over chemicals and pesticides in foods (Siddapa,1951).
For delay ripening fruits by irradiation, a very comprehensive review was prepared by Loaharanu (Ayyad et al., 1990). As of August 1985, 30 countries including Bangladesh around the world have cleared more than 40 irradiated food item for human consumption on either an unconditional or provisional basis for various purposes (Koszler,1959). The US FDA has recently (March, 1986) announced the approval in principle of irradiated fruits up to 1.0 kGy for delay ripening and disinfestations (Grecz,1983)[1 5].
This study will minimize post harvest losses of the fruit. Thus growers will be economically benefited and encouraged to grow more foods. The successful value added food production will encourage the food processors to build up processing plant and their ensured shelf life will increase the export of value added food products. Thus the surplus Bananas will be utilized and saved from spoilage. The radiated pulp and pulp-based products may play an important role to our national economy through formation of new employment opportunity of our rural manpower. With this view in mind the following objective will be tried to achieve for solution of the project.
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