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IMPACT OF ALOE VERA GEL, LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL AND ASCORBIC ACID ON THE SHELF LIFE OF FRESH CUT APPLE
This study was conducted to evaluate impact of adding aloe vera gel (2%), lemon essential oil (1.5%), and ascorbic acid (2.5%) and their combination to freshly cut apple slices stored at 4±1oC temperature and 65±5% relative humidity for 16 days. The slices were analysed after every 4 days for different physicochemical quality factors including, electrolyte leakage, weight loss, total soluble solids, total sugar, titratable acidity, pH, ascorbic acid, color, firmness, and decay index and consumers’ acceptability. Combined coating with aloe vera, ascorbic acid, and lemon essential oil showed statistically significant (P≤0.05) results in maintaining physicochemical quality and consumers’ acceptability as compared to untreated apple slices. During the study combined coated apple showed minimum mean electrolyte leakage (13.53%), weight loss (5.47%), reduced rise in TSS (12.27obrix) and total sugar (9.09%), retained loss in TA (0.37%), reduced rise in pH (3.37), lowered down losses of ascorbic acid (19.27 mg/100ml), retained ho and L value (81.13 and 69.60, respectively), maintained firmness (19.33N), lowered decay index (5%), and improved consumers’ acceptability score (7.73) as compared to control sample (31.80%), ( 17.73%), (13.49obrix), (10.3%), (0.29%), (4.44), (11.67 mg/100ml), (69.27 and 60.80), (13.41N), (44%) and (4.73), respectively. Keeping in view the above results it can be concluded that combined application of aloe vera gel, ascorbic acid and lemon essential oil effectively maintained quality of fresh cut apple slices at refrigerated storage conditions with improved consumers’ acceptability. This coating can be used as viable treatment for preservation of apple slices at industrial scale. However, this study was conducted on small scale as laboratory experiment; therefore, the findings of current research should be validated at larger scale before commercialization.