Pre-harvest treatments consisted of nimbecidine, neem azal, neem gold, with Bavistin, as control. The plant leaves/flowers used as coatings were neem leaf extract, drake leaf extract, spearmint leaf extract, marigold flower extract, and semperfresh. Neem, melia, mentha, walnut, banna, basooti, and camphor were used as cushioning materials in packages. Freshly harvested fruits were subjected to the above treatments and were kept under refrigerated storage (1±1°C) for analysis at a monthly interval up to 6 months. Nimbecidine (1.5%) was found better in reducing physiological loss in weight (PLW) and retaining fruit firmness, whereas, neem azal (2.0%) was found effective in retaining maximum total soluble solids (TSS) content, starch iodine rating and pectin content at the end of 6 months storage period. Among the treatments of extracts of plant leaves/flowers, fruits treated with 20% drake leaf extract proved to be most effective in reducing weight loss, whereas, maximum retention of firmness was recorded in fruits treated with 20% neem leaf extracts. Drake and neem leaf extracts also retained maximum TSS content. Minimum decrease in starch content maximum pectin content in the fruits and were recorded with 20% neem leaf extract. Leaf extract was highly effective in reducing spoilage as no spoilage was recorded under this treatment. Fruits cushioned with camphor leaves were superior over non-cushioned fruits in retaining most of quality characteristics.
Key words: Neem (Azadirachta indica), plant extract, drake (Melia azedarach), spearmint, marigold, banna (Vitex negundu), basooti (Adhatoda vasica), camphor, apple.
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