African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12257

Full Length Research Paper

Ripening stage and drying method affecting colour and quality attributes of Ziziphus mauritiana fruits in Zimbabwe

Lovejoy Tembo1,2, Z.A Chiteka1, Irene Kadzere2,3,Festus K Akinnifesi4* and F. Tagwira1
  1Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, Box 1320, Mutare, Zimbabwe. 2Department of Agricultural Research and Extension Services, Agronomy Research Institute, Box CY 550, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe. 3World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Southern Africa Regional Programme, Box Cy 594 Causeway Harare, Zimbabwe. 4World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Southern Africa Regional Programme, Box 30798, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 March 2008
  •  Published: 18 July 2008



Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk. (Ber) fruit is harvested at different stages of ripening in the Zambezi valley of Zimbabwe. We hypothesize that the organoleptic quality attributes of fruits depend on post-harvest drying method and ripening stage at harvest. This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of different stages of ripening on the quality of Z. mauritiana fruits during drying. The fruits were graded into green, yellowish-brown and brown categories and these formed the treatments. Some of these fruits were blanched before drying for 1, 2 and 3 weeks under the solar dryer and the open sun drying methods. The green fruits lost significantly (P<0.001) more weight during drying than the yellowish-brown and brown fruits regardless of the drying methods. The development of browning was more on the brown fruits than the green and yellowish-brown fruits.


Key words: Ber, drying method, post harvest quality, blanching, fruit colour, harvesting stage.