Effect of Packaging and Coating Technique on Postharvest Quality and Shelf Life of Raphanus sativus L. and Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Microgreens

Foods. 2020 May 19;9(5):653. doi: 10.3390/foods9050653.


Microgreens are highly respiring produce characterized by a relatively short shelf-life. In this study, the efficacy of two types of macro-perforated packaging, PET clamshell (PET-CS) and LDPE self-seal bag (LDPE-SSB), was assessed on the postharvest quality and shelf life of radish (RaS) and roselle (HbS) microgreens stored at 5 °C. Pre-harvest spray treatment (AGSC) was compared with postharvest dip coating (AGDC) using Aloe vera gel (AG) for the first time in microgreens for postharvest quality improvement. PET-CS had a lower physiological loss in weight (PLW), respiration rate (RR), electrolyte leakage (EL), microbial counts (MCs), and higher overall acceptability (OA) than LDPE-SSB. AG-coated microgreens had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lesser deteriorative postharvest changes and higher ascorbic acid content than uncoated control. AGSC maintained better OA and postharvest quality than AGDC, especially at the end of the study period in terms of reducing EL, retaining greenness (-a*), and chroma value in HbS microgreens. In RaS microgreens, AGSC helped to maintain lower PLW, MC, and higher ascorbic acid levels. AGSC could be suggested as an eco-friendly ergonomic pre-harvest treatment along with PET-CS for enhancement of postharvest quality and shelf life in RaS and HbS microgreens, with a tremendous potential to be extended to other microgreens.

Keywords: Aloe vera; LDPE bag; PET clamshell; dip-coating; edible coating; microgreens; postharvest quality; pre-harvest spray.