In Kenya, Passion fruits are part of solution in staving- off hunger and malnourishment among her citizens. Most of the underutilized fruits passion fruit included is often among those which have the greatest potential in terms of nutrition and income generation for small holders. Passion fruit is underutilized because of the significant amounts (10-60%) that go into waste during peak production. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of postharvest handling procedures and treatments on the shelf life and quality of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis sims var) in the Uasin -gishu county. The specific objectives were (i) To establish farmers harvesting methods, postharvest handling and storage of passion fruit, (ii) To determine effect of stage of fruit maturity, time of harvesting, postharvest handling practices and storage treatments on physical and chemical quality attributes of passion fruits and (iii) To evaluate the effect of postharvest treatments on organoleptic attributes of passion fruit. A base line survey was carried out in Soy and Kapseret sub-Counties in December 2015 to assess farmer’s postharvest knowledge. A total of 100 farmers were surveyed and data collected using a structured questionnaire and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) soft ware. Secondly, 480 passion fruits were picked from the two (Soy and Kapsaret) sites which had been harvested at two maturity stages namely when the colour turned 25% (a0) and 75 % (a1), respectively. Secondly, detachment from mother plant was at fruit shoulder (b0) and leaving a stricture attached (b1) using a pocket knife. They were stored under either ambient storage conditions (c0) or under polythene film (c1). The time of harvesting was done either in the morning (d0) or in the afternoon (d1). Treated fruits were then taken to Chemelil Sugar Company Laboratory where they were stored and analyzed periodically for 28 days. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replicates. Passion fruits were analyzed for Weight change during storage, Total Titratable Acidity (TTA), Total Soluble Solids (TSS) and Pulp weight. The data collected was subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using GenStat version 14th edition. Thirdly, an organoleptic taste analysis was carried out on the Passion fruits exposed to various Postharvest treatments. The data collected was analyzed for their physical appearance in color, absence and/or presence of bruises and flavor taste (using IBM SPSS Statistic version 21. The study indicated that almost half (44%) of the farmers harvested their produce in the early part of the morning when it is dry while about 20% stored their produce under modified atmosphere conditions. The color at which passion fruit was harvested significantly affected (p< 0.05) its titratable acidity, pulp weight and its brix. In addition the mode of storage significantly impacted (p< 0.05) the fruit total titratable acidity, pulp weight and whole fruit weight. The passion fruits harvested at 75% color maturity stage and stored under modified atmosphere packages were the most appealing to the organoleptic task panel. The farmers in Uasin Gishu County should harvest at 75% color maturity stage as well as employ the use polythene sheets during storage as this will greatly impact the fruits chemical and organoleptic quality attributes thus influencing its shelf life.


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