Postharvest quality of pepino melon (Solanum muricatum Aiton) as influenced by NPK fertilizer rates, growing environment and storage temperature
- shelf life,
- total soluble solids,
- weight loss
Copyright (c) 2021 Carol Mutua
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The present study evaluated the effect of NPK fertilizer (17:17:17) rates (0, 100, 200, 300 and 400 kg ha-1) on the postharvest quality of field and greenhouse grown pepino melons (Solanum muricatum Ait.) stored at room temperature (15-22°C) and at low temperature (7°C). The study was carried out in randomized complete block design with fruits from the field and greenhouse, five NPK fertilizer rates as treatments and the two storage temperatures replicated three times. Data were collected on percentage fruit weight loss (PWL), total soluble solids (TSS), firmness and shelf life. Results indicated that greenhouse and field grown fruits from the control and plants supplied with 100 kg NPK ha-1 had low PWL at both storage temperatures. Field grown fruits from the control stored at room temperature had the highest TSS and were firmer after 28 days of storage. Field grown fruits not supplied with fertilizer and stored at low temperature had a shelf life of 27 and 26 days in trial one and two respectively. Application of 100 kg NPK ha-1 and storage of pepino melon fruits at low temperature can be used to enhance quality and shelf life.