Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) experiences significant loss during postharvest handling. This study aimed to provide an alternative postharvest handling technology for the vegetable. The factor studied was Ca CaCl2 at 4 levels: 0% (distilled water), 3, 6 and 9%. Weight loss and total soluble solids were determined at an interval of 3 days whereas total chlorophyll, Fe, ascorbic acid and Ca content were determined at an interval of 4 days. Shelf life elapsed when fruit lost 25% of their initial weight. Calcium CaCl2 reduced weight loss by up to 16.7%, increased Ca content by up to 252.7%, maintained total soluble solids by up to 11.8%, total chlorophyll by up to 23.3%, Fe by up to 10.1%, ascorbic acid by up to 13.9% and Ca content by up to 13.7% and extended shelf life by up to 3 days. Calcium CaCl2 at 6% was the best treatment and therefore can be used by bell pepper growers, retailers and consumers to maintain postharvest quality of bell pepper.
Key words: Chemical treatment, fruit vegetable, fresh weight loss, ascorbic acid.
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