Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a popular and economically important tropical fruit throughout the world due to its excellent nutritional composition, eating and visual qualities. However, the fruit is highly perishable and as a result high post-harvest losses continue to be reported especially in Africa. In order to address this problem, four concentrations of Aloe vera (AG) (0, 25, 50 and 75%) and chitosan (1%) were tested at two temperature levels (room temperature and 13°C) to determine their effect on the postharvest life of mango (var.’ngowe’). The experimental design was a 5 by 2 factorial experiment embedded in a complete randomized design with three replications. Data were recorded on weight loss, pH and total soluble solids (TSS) among others. The results show that at both temperatures 50 and 75% aloe concentrations significantly increased the shelf life evidenced by reduced percentage weight loss. Fruit firmness and total soluble solids concentration and pH were also maintained for longer periods in these treatments. Findings of this study demonstrate the potential of using A. vera gel at 50% as a coating for improved postharvest shelf life and maintaining quality of mango fruits hence reduced postharvest losses.
Key words: Aloe vera gel, postharvest shelf life, mango fruit quality.
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