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Many times farmers complain that they do not get prices for their produce. Very true, and the reason is obvious. They do not go to customer directly. They do not market their goods. In these days of market oriented economy, it is a crime not to market one¶s goods directly to consumers. In our country @ 40% produce is waited for want of facilities for preservation and processing. The processing industry processes but a very small portion of produce. In developed countries @ 60% produce is processed. Indian farmers gets 15 paisas out of the rupee spent by the consumers on food items, where as in developed countries farmers get 60%. This is because of their ability to preserve and process their technology. Waxing is one such technology suitable for preservation of fruits and vegetables. By this method we can increase the shelf life of agro-produce by more than two weeks. This gives breathing time for marketing. This will also increase the market. Farmers from Shrigonda in Ahmadnagar district produce lemons. At present they have to market the produce in the market yards of Bombay and Pune. Delhi, Jaipur and Calcutta markets can pay higher even after considering transport costs. But these long distances dictate that the shelf life should be increased. Let us look at the agro-produce like, lemons, oranges, apples, parawal, and pomegranate. You will see shine on the out surface. This shining comes because of natural waxes. When this wax/ evaporates the fruit become dry. Wax prevents evaporation of water in the produce. So by increasing the layer of wax, shelf life can be increased. This is a special type of wax. It can be easily purchased from the market or can be manufacture in a tiny scale factory. When we see a fruit under microscope we can see small holes like those on our skin. By applying wax these holes are blocked so water in the produce cannot come out. So the shelf life is increased. Process lines: - For preservation of lemons, oranges and other such items processing lines are common in developed countries. These systems consist of washing, air drying, grading, sanitizing and waxing before packing. At present
Put the fruits in water as soon as plucked to remove inside heat. Picking the fruits is an art.2 ton per hour processing line costs around 20 lakhs of rupees. The harvested fruits must be kept in shadow. fresher produce. 4. Use crates for transporting Grading and weighing should be done in your farm Well. oranges. he can learn the technique and can manually wax his lemons. mosambies can be kept in cold storage which will further enhance the shelf life. In these days of market oriented economy. Kolattukudy Institute of Biological Chemistry. Post Harvest May 1984 Pomology Newsletter. E. USDA has approved this technique. take such precautions and sell fresher fruits and earn more profits. Juicy. Fruits should not get injury during plucking. So. Pullman. 2(2):3-7 Every living organism is packaged in some type of an . Waxing expenses are very low i. so there is no problem for exports. consumers will always prefer more attractive. But this results in extension of shelf life of lemons by over 3 weeks without refrigeration of course waxed fruits like lemons. Pick up only correctly ripe fruits 1.e. Waxing techniques is in vague in developed countries. 5. 2. Washington State University. as low as 5 to 10 paisas per lemon. 3. Natural Waxes on Fruits P. For the small farmers.
These envelopes consist of polymeric structural components. make a highly impermeable barrier. are naturally packaged in an outer envelope called the cuticle. which is made by the outermost layer of cells called the epidermal cells. collectively called waxes. like most aerial plant organs. The structural component of the cuticle is a biological polyester called cutin. 2. Since this polymer itself is not a good waterproofing material. The cuticle is attached to the walls of the epidermal cells by a glue layer made from a substance of the cuticle called pectin (Fig. These protrusions can be seen as the cellular outlines in the electron micrograph shown in Fig. Cutin is a large insoluble substance (polymer) made from small molecules which are in turn derived from cellular fat. In land based organisms the envelope is made waterproof with a mixture of fatty materials. . 1). The Cuticle Fruits. the outer envelope is covered with a complex mixture of materials also generated by the epidermal cells from cellular fat.envelope which serves as the barrier between the organism and its environment. The outer surface of the cuticle is relatively flat and smooth. but the underside attached to the plant has ridges which fit into the intercellular gaps to provide a tight attachment. Particles of cutin embedded in wax.
Waxy Bloom Natural wax is also found on the surface of fruits as small crystals which appear as a powdery bloom to the naked eye.000 times the resolving capacity of the human eye. the crystalline shape can be clearly seen. 3. Reflection and scattering of lights on the fruit surface by the wax crystals are responsible for the prominent natural waxy bloom found on fruit . Under the high magnification of the electron microscope. Each plant species appears to have its own characteristic crystalline shape and the plate-like crystals found on apple fruit can be readily seen in the electron micrograph shown in Fig. which has 100.
Therefore the appearance of fruit is greatly affected by the chemical composition of the wax on its surface. Fruits which show a pronounced natural waxy bloom do not necessarily have more wax than others which show little bloom. The shape of the wax crystals is determined by the chemical composition of the wax. For example.surfaces. The presence of wax bloom gives little shine even though the quantity of wax may be quite high. . There is a common misconception that a very shiny fruit surface has more wax than a less shiny one. plum fruits are no more waxy. but show more definite bloom than apple or pear because the fine wax protuberances present on a plum scatter light more effectively than the platelets of wax found on apple or pear. Thus it is the physical shape of the wax crystals which play a major role in determining the appearance.
It provides water repellency to the fruit surface and it reduces water permeability through the skin. Waxes prevent moisture loss during fruit storage. Role of Wax Wax plays at least two major functions. application of the wax formulations to Red Delicious apples by the usual packinghouse operations used in Washington increased the resistance of the fruit surface to water loss and measurably reduced water loss during a six month storage of the fruits (Table I). distribution and retention of chemicals applied to foliage or fruits as solutions or emulsions. Although natural waxes on fruits are effective in preventing water loss. Two major classes of chemicals are often found. the application of commercial wax can further decrease water loss during prolonged storage. Wax on Growing As fruits grow the amount of natural wax increases in . Water repellency affects the deposition. For example. The major cyclic component of apple fruit wax is called ursolic acid and is highly water repellent.Composition Natural Waxes of The natural wax on apple fruit contains about fifty individual components belonging to at least half a dozen chemical groups. Permeability is a major problem when water soluble materials such as calcium need to be introduced into the fruits for desirable effects such as maintenance of firmness.
is an insect wax. on the other hand. Some varieties show little change in the quantity and composition of the wax whereas others show considerable changes resulting in significant alterations in the fruit appearance. After harvest the quantity and quality of the natural waxes can change. is not present in either carnauba wax or shellac. Carnauba wax. ursolic acid. Such changes have been observed during fruit storage. Commercial Waxes Applying wax formulations to fruits appears to be mainly to improve attractiveness.Fruit such a way that the quantity present in a unit of area of the fruit surface either shows little change or increases. Both of these natural waxes are complex mixtures of fatty materials and contain some of the same components found in apple wax. although some improvement in storage quality has also been noted. which is a major component of apple wax. Therefore it is not surprising that storage conditions can affect the post-harvest changes in the amount and composition of wax. whereas on pear the increase in the amount of wax keeps up with the expansion of the surface area of the fruit. One major difference between natural wax and wax formulations is that the cyclic compound. There are other less dramatic differences in chemical composition and some of those differences may be quite relevant to providing the desired appearance to fruits. . These leaves produce wax in such abundance that flailing or heating in a little water can yield 5-10 grams of wax from each leaf. for example. all imported from Brazil. Shellac. the amount of wax per unit area steadily increases as the fruit grows to maturity. Wax production by plants is known to be greatly influenced by environmental factors. is obtained from the leaves of carnauba palm. The wax formulations used in Washington appear to be based either on carnauba wax or shellac or a mixture of the two. It should be pointed out that there can be large varietal differences in such changes. On apple.
Therefore a systematic study on the waxing problem could yield results helpful in devising the proper waxing process. Future Research It is possible that the beneficial effects of the waxing process come not only from the waxes that are applied but also from the changes in the natural fruit waxes brought about by the waxing process. and U. MEL ISSA HANSEN Coating fruit to reduce moisture and retain freshness. though standard practice in citrus and apples. Department of Agriculture¶s . and in the past such misconceptions among consumers and regulatory agencies have caused much confusion. Among the various materials studied by scientists thus far.S. The undesirable changes in the appearance. There are widespread misconceptions about the fruit waxing. a chitosan coating is showing promise and will be evaluated further this season. has not been studied from a physical and chemical point of view. Oregon State University researcher Dr. Scientists evaluate cherry coatings The goal is to reduce moisture loss from the fruit and to keep stems green. Jinhe Bai.Waxing Process The amount of wax applied to fruits appears to be negligible when compared to the natural wax on the fruit. and at the same time alleviate the misconceptions of the consumer. When reliable analytical methods were used to distinguish between the wax naturally present in the apple and that applied during waxing it was difficult even to detect the presence of the added wax on the waxed apples. help the producer. Which components present in the complex mixture applied to the fruit are beneficial does not appear to be known. sometimes observed in the waxed apples in marketing channels. A careful study of the amount of wax added by the commercial waxing process used in the packinghouses in Washington showed that the amount added by the process was so little that the increase over that naturally present was statistically insignificant (Table I). has proved difficult in small fruit like sweet cherries.
As part of the project. To look at the coating on cherry stems. Anne Plotto. ³However. Finding an edible coating that reduces both fruit moisture loss and stem browning is more problematic. The scientists observed that some coating applications did reduce water loss. adding that it provided good finish although the application seemed to be too thick. have evaluated the performance of more than 20 different edible coatings on cherry fruit and stems during the last two years. natural wax on the fruit surface.´ Bai said. His research showed that the washing process used in normal cherry packing partially destroyed the natural wax layer. we found that cherries have thick. the researchers used scanning electron microscopy to observe the surface structure of the coated and uncoated cherry stems. the coatings used in the experiments did not match the fruit¶s natural wax very well. the scientists are assessing commercially available waxes used on apples for any benefit on cherries.´ Bai said.´ . thereby increasing water loss and shriveling of the fruit. Most of the coating formulations they evaluated did not control stem drying because of poor surface finishing and microcracking of the stems. They found that the natural wax of cherry stems is destroyed quite rapidly at room temperature.Dr. ³For fruit coating research. The scanning electron microscopy showed that a shellac coating covered the stomata of the cherry stem. ³We will optimize the formulation of chitosan coating and further evaluate it this coming season. but they are also looking to develop new types of coatings. One of the next steps in research will be to find a coating that matches natural cherry wax. Cherries are not especially suited to edible coatings because they do not tolerate the heat needed to dry the coatings. but severe stem cracking was still observed. Some coatings tried on cherries left a white or crystallized residue. but that the efficiency of the coating depended on the formulation and fruit variety. and are packed wet. ³But a chitosan coating showed promise.´ Bai stated in a report on the research.
mangoes. packaging. which is eitherfelt or seen as a powdery bloom. In recent years. use . control of ripening process. much attention has been paid to explore the potential ofsurface coating to maintain the quality of harvested fresh produce and to reduce thevolume of disposable nonbiodegradable packaging materials. But much extraneous matter and sprayresidues. Thus the approach towardsprolonging the life of fruit / vegetable involvesrestricting the rate of respiration and preventingmoisture loss. The growing importance of fruits and vegetables in commerce has led todevelopment in various protective wax coatings with and without fungicides. Post harvest losses can be reduced to some extent by. growth regulators. and itimproves the finish of the skin. bananas. etc. and grapes) they develop a waxy coating on the epidermis. control ofspoilage.Surface coatings have been used extensively on bulky organs to modify internalatmosphere composition and thereby delay ripening. Wax usually develops when the fruit has attained 2 / 3 of itsgrowth. wax coating of fresh fruit and vegetable is quiteold and it has great potential in the storage and transportation of fresh produce. Many fruits develop awaxy coat on their epidermis as they mature on the plant (apples.careful handling. cleaning and sorting. So as to maintain the vital foodelements in as near the same quality as in thefreshly picked fruit or vegetable.Preservation of fruits and vegetables by wax coating he magnitude of post harvest losses in fresh fruits and vegetables is estimated to be 25 ± 80 % depending upon the commodity and the technological level of post harvest operations. reduce the water loss.bactericides. This reflects thelack of knowledge by post harvest handlers of the biological and environmentalfactors involved in the deterioration or the absence of adequate post harvesttechnologies required preserving fresh quality. selection of varieties.. The natural waxy coat is not adequateto offer protection against water loss and highrespiration rate.
etc.. Waxing of the produce is an old age art. control of ripening process. dumping. use of ethylene absorbent. WaxingWaxing of fruits and vegetables is done according to the recommendations. In 4200BC. whichwas started in the beginning of the 19th century. packaging homeoperations. and this helps to reduce the water loss duringhandling and marketing. use of fungicide. reduce the water loss.bactericides. Wax has been used since pre historic times. use of growth regulators. dumping. packaging homeoperations.use of sprout inhibitors. wax coating of fresh fruit and vegetable is quiteold and it has great potential in the storage and transportation of fresh produce. control ofspoilage. selection of varieties. cleaning and sorting. the wax coating is allowed to drythoroughly before further handling.careful handling. If produce is waxed. irradiation. washing and waxing The growing importance of fruits and vegetables in commerce has led todevelopment in various protective wax coatings with and without fungicides. Waxing was used as a preservationtechnique for fruits since 1900. the ancient Egyptians kept bees and used the wax from honeycombs to . use edible films. use of fungicide. Food grade waxes are used to replace some of the natural. packaging. Post harvest losses can be reduced to some extent by.use of sprout inhibitors. irradiation.Surface coatings have been used extensively on bulky organs to modify internalatmosphere composition and thereby delay ripening. washing and waxing. use of growth regulators.edible films. use of ethylene absorbent. growth regulators. and itimproves the finish of the skin. waxes removed inwashing and cleaning operations.
Wax Wax is an ester a long chain aliphatic acidchain aliphatic alcohol. which accumulates within the fruit because it cannot escape as .Principle involved during storage: The produce continues respiring and uses upall the O2 with in the fruit which is not being replacedas quickly as before waxing because of the coating and produces CO2. but it was not until 1922that a waxing process was introduces for wide spreaduse on fruits and vegetables. as early as 12th century. The Romans used inpottery making textile printing. the Chinese were using waxing processes on fruits.makemodels and to preserve their dead and in encaustic painting. Waxes are the esters formedfrom a fatty acid and a high molecular weight alcohol.
All fruit andvegetables arecovered naturally in acuticle. paraffin wax. Consumption offresh produce. Fruits andvegetables are living organisms. All fruits and vegetable are living organisms and as such require intake of O2 and release CO2 for respiration (aerobic). acetaldehydeand ethanol. Carnaubawax. An aerobic respiration produces much more CO2. The acetaldehyde and ethanol give off ± flavour to the product. The fruit and vegetable growersshould concern about consumer safety.90 % water by weight. They also release vapour top the atmosphere throughdiffusion. If they areleft without cuticle. candelilla wax. During the process of waxing a tightly adhering thinfilm of the coating substance is applied to the surface f the fruit. the water quickly begins to evaporate. to help the consumers to obtain possible product. wetting and drying agents and form the compounds used aprotective coating. Both theseprocesses create aloss in weight of theproduce. Unwaxed fruit or vegetables have pores in their surface through which mostthe diffusion of O2 and CO2 offers. Protective coating on fresh produce: Human became more health conscious. The surface coatingis often relatively impermeable to O2 and CO2 and water. and resulted in rapidly increasing demand. The natural barrier of the fruit and vegetable. Eventually the fruit will switch to anaerobic respiration thatdoes not require O2. cuticleand micro±cracks in the cuticle. bees wax . resulting in poor productshelf life to increase freshness and appearance. whichare detrimental to the perceived quality.the type of wax and amount if was applied will influence the extent to which theinternal atmosphere (O2 and CO2) are modified and the level of reduction in weight loss. There are few active ingredients which whencombined with water. Water vapour can move through the pores.easily through the coating. This gave new awareness of freshfruits and vegetables. which is barrierto gas exchange. Thecuticle is very impermeable to O2. shellac wax. The coating may contain one or more of the following. which contain 80 .slightly more permeable to CO2 and several magnitudes more permeable to watervapour.
Chinese insect wax VEGETABLE WAX 1. Oricury wax 8. Synthetic wax Foodstuffs that are waxed are. Carnauba wax 2. Shellac wax 4. Montan wax 3.12. Candelilla wax 3. is the vegetable wax manufactured by Central Food Technological research Institute (CFTRI). Bees wax.Different types of waxes ANIMAL WAXES: 1. Waxol 0. 2. Esparto wax 6. Fruits: Apple Avocadoes Bell pepper Lemon Grapes Banana Melons Oranges Lime Passion fruit Peaches . MINERAL AND SYNTHETIC WAX 1. Japan wax 7. Spermaceti wax 3. Ozocerite 2. Sugarcane wax 4. Mysore. Palm wax 5.
The wax is dissolved in asuitable solvent.sealed. 2. Liquid Paraffin wax method: In this method fruits and vegetables are dipped in hot paraffin. Dipping or cold wax method: Fruits and vegetables are washed and then without being dried are dippedinto a wax emulsion of proper concentration. . PROPERTIES OF WAX Kneadable at 20°C.Pine apples Vegetables: Cucumber Tomato Sweet potato Melon 1. Easily emulsifiable. The pressure employed Volume of wax used Wax temperature Distance of fruit from the spray Number of spray nozzles. Some timesresins are added. Should not impart undesirable odour. 4. The main disadvantage of this method is too much of coatingmaterial is used. This depends on. But the efficiency is very less. Spray method: Spraying of melted wax on the fruit. They are dried before packing. which is subsequently brushedmechanically until a film of desired thickness is obtained. 3. Purifiedwax is odour less. tasteless and nontoxic and it can be heat. Slab wax method: In this case the wax is pressed against rapidly revolving brushes.
Melts above 40° C without decomposition. Capable of being polished by slight pressure. Should never interfere with the quality of fresh fruit / vegetable. Translucent to opaque form but not like glass. Efficient drying performance. Has relatively low viscosity. Non-sticky or tacky. Should be economical. The properties of wax depend primarily on molecular structure rather than molecular size and chemical constitution .