STORABILITY POTENTIAL OF CARROT (Daucuscarota L.) UNDER STEM SPONGE PADDED EVAPORATIVE COOLING STRUCTURES
Keywords:Evaporative coolingn, stem sponge, carrot
A zero energy stem sponge padded evaporative cooling storage was evaluated using fresh carrots (Daucuscarota L.) with control refrigerator and a similar structure without any cooling pad. The overall percentage loss in weight (during the period of experiment) of the carrot was much in the refrigerator (53.97%) and control structure (32.80%) compared to those stored in the evaporative cooling structure (25.19%). Similarly, trend of result was recorded in firmness, loss in firmnesss of the carrots stored in the control structure was greater than the ones in the evaporative cooling sytructre. However, the evaluation of the evaporative cooling system shows that the carrots can be stored for an average of twelve (12) days with negligible changes in weight, colour and firmness unlike the refrigerator and the control structure which noticeable changes began to occur from the fifth day. The modification of the microclimate by use of the zero energy evaporative and evapotranspirative cooling principles helps attain the microclimate conditions favourable for longer storage periods. With reference to the developed stem sponge padded cooler in this study, the modified environment helped in reducing respiration and metabolic rates in the stored carrots. The high relative humidity and low temperatures in the padded evaporative cooling system discouraged microorganism action on the stored carrots leading to a lengthened shelf-life
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