Improvement of Fruit and Vegetable Quality from Postharvest Biology and Technology ApproachesView this Special Issue
Research Article | Open Access
Sara Elena Hernández-Guerrero, Rosendo Balois-Morales, Yolotzin Apatzingán Palomino-Hermosillo, Graciela Guadalupe López-Guzmán, Guillermo Berumen-Varela, Pedro Ulises Bautista-Rosales, Gelacio Alejo-Santiago, "Novel Edible Coating of Starch-Based Stenospermocarpic Mango Prolongs the Shelf Life of Mango “Ataulfo” Fruit", Journal of Food Quality, vol. 2020, Article ID 1320357, 9 pages, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/1320357
Novel Edible Coating of Starch-Based Stenospermocarpic Mango Prolongs the Shelf Life of Mango “Ataulfo” Fruit
Edible coatings based on 2% starch (w/v) extracted from tropical fruits were applied on stenospermocarpic mango fruits with the objective to prolong its shelf life during storage and give them an added value since they have no commercial value. In this regard, stenospermocarpic mangoes were coated with starch from banana “Pear” (T1 and T2), starch from soursop (T3 and T4), and starch from stenospermocarpic mango (T5 and T6), and two uncoated control treatments (T7 and T8). The fruit of T1, T3, T5, and T7 treatments were stored for 15 days (10 days at 10 ± 2°C and then at 22 ± 2°C for 5 days). The fruit of T2, T4, T6, and T8 treatments were stored for 10 days at 22 ± 2°C. Data were analyzed with a 4×2 factorial experimental design. Weight loss (g), firmness (N), total soluble solids content (%), titratable acidity (%), and color () were evaluated. The fruit coated with mango starch (T5) showed less weight loss (2.57%), greater firmness (18.6 N), as well as a high content of TSS (28.76%) compared with the control. The T5 extended the shelf life of the fruit up to 15 days (10 days at 10 ± 2°C and 5 days at 22 ± 2°C).
Mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruits are listed within the three most important tropical fruits for fresh consumption, providing vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, organic acids, as well as antioxidant properties such as vitamin C, polyphenols, carotenoids, and terpenoids. Mexico is the global leader in exporting fresh mangoes to the world. In 2019, Mexico reported 1,846 ha of the harvested area with a total production of 1,535 tons of mangoes . Nayarit is one of the major mango producers in Mexico, with a harvested area of 57,149 ha, whose production is 319,771 tons with a yield of 5.595 tons/ha. Nayarit is an excellent mango “Ataulfo” producer; however, since 2007, a high incidence (up to 90%) of small mangoes has been reported . This condition is called stenospermocarpy, commonly known in the region as “mango niño” . The stenospermocarpy is caused when the trees of mango are exposed to low temperatures during the flowering period, interfering with the pollination and fertilization of the fruit . The usual development of the seed coat and the endosperm ceases in early stages, and the fruit exhibits a high variation in the degree of seed and development [5, 6]. According to the Official Mexican Standard (Norma Oficial Mexicana; NOM-188-SCFI-2012), established by the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, the fruit of mango “Ataulfo” niño has a minimum weight of 119 g and a maximum weight of 131 g. These fruits are not harvested, and it falls from the tree due to the abscission effect since for the local producer they have no commercial value. However, in some cities of Mexico, such as Mexico City and Guadalajara, these fruits are currently being accepted by the consumers due to the size, taste, and also because they can be consumed without detaching the cuticle. Stenospermocarpic mango “Ataulfo,” as well as the regular mango “Ataulfo,” is a climacteric fruit with a shelf life between three and nine days  and susceptible to deterioration generated by physiological disorders in the postharvest . In tropical conditions, the fruit ripens within 6-7 days and reaches its ripeness of consumption and senescence at 15 days after harvest. During fruit ripening, several changes occur such as weight loss, decrease in firmness, synthesis of pigments, and increase of organic acids, sugars, respiration rate, and ethylene synthesis as well as degradation of the cell wall. These lead to physical, biochemical, and nutritious changes, resulting in fruit senescence. Mango fruits are highly perishable due to the high respiration rate, a complex biochemical phenomenon whereby carbohydrates, proteins, organic acids, and other energy sources are metabolized into simple molecules for the purpose to carry out ripening and senescence.
Due to the accelerated deterioration suffered by the mango fruit, several postharvest technologies have been proposed to control or reduce the metabolic processes. Among these technologies, controlled atmospheres (CA) and modified atmospheres (MA) have been studied as an alternative to increase the postharvest shelf life and decrease product losses to satisfy the market . MA acts as a semipermeable barrier for the O2 and CO2 gases, water vapor, and oxidative reactions within the fruit, which helps to control the enzymatic activity contributing to maintaining the firmness of the coated product during the storage stage . In this regard, a physical barrier can also be produced by the application of edible coatings. An edible coating consists of a thin layer that covers the fruit by immersion, spraying, brushing or wraping without affecting the quality of the fruit . Polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose, alginates, chitosan, pectins, and gums are compounds that can be included in the production of biofilms and coatings in the food industry . Starch has great functionality due to two major components: amylose and amylopectin as well as the organization of these two macromolecules in their granular structure. The capacity of the starch for a better formation of edible coatings and films will depend on the amount of amylose present in the starch . According to the reported by Romero-Bastida et al.  the content of amylose in mango fruit var. Tommy Atkins was 28.7%, suggesting that the starch of mango fruit can be an alternative source for the elaboration of biofilms and edible coatings.
The application of edible coatings based on starch is extensive because they have no smell or taste, besides to reduce the exchange of gases , proving to be effective in preserving the organoleptic and nutritional properties of food . Currently, great interest in obtaining starch with better physicochemical and functional characteristics from nonconventional sources has been reported . Besides, the starch is an abundant, low-cost, renewable, and easy to use polysaccharide . Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the application of edible coatings based on 2% starch (w/v) extracted from the pulp of tropical fruits (banana, soursop, and mango) on stenospermocarpic mango fruits to prolong their organoleptic characteristics during postharvest storage.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Plant Material
Stenospermocarpic mango fruits were harvested at physiological maturity, in the ejido of Atonalisco, Municipality of Tepic, Nayarit (21°42′LN, 104°51′LO, 234 mamsl, spring-summer cycle, 2016) and transported to the laboratory on the same day of harvest. The fruits were selected based on the visual color and homogeneous size of caliber 38 (NOM-188-SCFI, 2012), discarding those that presented physical or mechanical damage or any visible phytopathological damage. The fruits were washed with water, submerged in a 2% sodium hypochlorite solution for 10 min, and then rinsed with distilled water. Then, the fruits were left to dry for 30 min.
2.2. Application of the Starch-Based Coating
A coating solution based on 2% (w/v) starch extracted from the pulp of the fruit of banana “Pear,” soursop, and stenospermocarpic mango “Ataulfo” was prepared. Then, the edible coatings were applied on stenospermocarpic mango “Ataulfo” fruit by immersion (two min) and then left to rest for 20 min, ensuring that the polysaccharide adheres to the cuticle of the fruit . Final treatments were as follows: fruit coated with starch from banana “Pear” (T1 and T2), starch from soursop (T3 and T4), and starch from stenospermocarpic mango (T5 and T6), and two uncoated control treatments (T7 and T8). In this sense, 25 fruit from the T1, T3, T5, and T7 treatments were stored for 15 days (10 days at 10 ± 2°C and then at 22 ± 2°C for 5 days). Instead, 25 fruits from the T2, T4, T6, and T8 treatments were stored for 10 days at 22 ± 2°C. The fruits were stored using a controlled temperature chamber (Climacell®).
2.3. Assessment of Postharvest Life
The variables evaluated were weight loss (%), firmness (N), total soluble solids (%) and titratable acidity (%) and color (), performing evaluations at 0, 5, 10, and 15 days during storage.
2.3.1. Weight Loss
A scale model ACJ-1500 was used. The weight variation was expressed in using the following equation: percentage weight loss = .
To measure fruit firmness, a penetrometer (Digital Fruit model GY-4) with a 0.8 mm diameter pressure head was used. The results were expressed in Newton (N).
2.3.3. Total Soluble Solids (% Brix)
TSS was carried out according to the AOAC methodology  using a refractometer (Spectronics Instruments; model 334610).
2.3.4. Titratable Acidity
Titratable acidity was determined with 0.1 N NaOH and 1% phenolphthalein as an indicator. The results were expressed in percentage malic acid which is the predominant organic acid in the mango fruit with a value of 0.067. The result was obtained using the equation: percentage acidity = V (base) N meq 100/V (ac).
The color was measured in the epidermis of the fruit (two equatorial zones), using a Minolta CR-300 model colorimeter. The reads were related to the parameters , where is the luminosity reflected by the fruit, and the values go from 0 (black) until 100 (white); indicates the value from green (−) to red (+), and indicates the value of the color going from blue (−) to yellow (+). These values were converted to chromaticity (C) and hue angle (h°) parameters, which were calculated by applying the following equations: C = (a 2 + b 2) 1/2 h° = tan−1 (), when > 0 and ≥ 0 h° = 180 + tan−1 (), when < 0. Total color change was calculated by the equation: ΔE ab = (ΔL2 + Δa2 + Δb2)1/2, where Δa = a − a0, Δb = b −b0, and ΔL = L − L0.
2.4. Statistical Analysis
A completely randomized experimental design with a 4x2 factorial arrangement was used. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey’s test () to distinguish the significance using SAS .
3.1. Weight Loss
The mango fruit coated with banana starch (T1) showed an average mass loss of 3.32 (5 days) and 3.36% (10 days) of storage, while the uncoated fruit (T7) was 4.82% (5 days) and 4.04% (10 days) of storage. The fruits of these treatments showed the greatest loss when stored at 22 ± 2°C (Figure 1(a)). The fruit coated with mango starch and stored at 22 ± 2°C (T6) showed a lower rate of weight loss compared with the control fruit (T8), showing values of 5.04 and 6.13%, respectively (Figure 1(b)) with a significant statistical difference between treatments per day of storage (Table 1).
Different letters within the columns indicate statistically significant differences according to Tukey’s test . = minimal significant difference.
The firmness is one of the most notable changes during fruit ripening; the softening is related to the biochemical alterations of the cell wall, middle lamina, and plasma membrane . The cell wall undergoes a series of modifications causing tissue deterioration and ripening. In the present investigation, fruits coated with mango starch stored at 10 ± 2°C and 22 ± 2°C (T5 and T6) showed greater firmness in comparison with control fruit (Figures 1(c) and 1(d)). Fruits coated with mango starch (T6) showed the greatest firmness until the 10th day of storage at 22 ± 2°C and HR >80%; while the fruits coated with banana starch (T1) showed less firmness compared with the rest of the treatments, including untreated fruit (T7) at 10 ± 2°C with a statistically significant difference between treatments per day of storage (Table 1). The loss of firmness in the fruit is also attributed to the cell wall degradation due to the effect of the enzymes pectinmethylesterase and polygalacturonase  as well as changes in the pectin substances , which is associated with the degradation of protopectins insoluble to soluble pectins . Misir et al.  reported that firmness is one of the parameters the consumer prefers when acquiring a fruit or vegetable, besides color and aroma .
3.3. Total Soluble Solids (TSS)
The increase in the content of the TSS during fruit ripening could be ascribed mainly to the hydrolysis of starches with the help of the amylases of the fruit, releasing a high quantity of glucose molecules, fructose, and sucrose, the main constituents of the TSS . Later, the TSS content diminished gradually, which may be due to a reduction in the amount of carbohydrates and pectin, partial hydrolysis of protein, and decomposition of glycosides into subunits during respiration . In this study, fruits coated with mango starch stored at 10 ± 2°C (T5) exhibited values of 28.76% Brix on 15 days of storage, while values of 26.43% Brix were recorded in control fruit (T7) on the same day of storage (Figure 2(a)). TSS increased at 5 days of storage in the coated fruit, independently of the storage temperature (Figure 2(b)). From day 6, we recorded a notable decrease of TSS in fruits exposed at 22 ± 2°C. These results are probably due to the period of senescence, considered as the final stage of the plant organ development, where secondary metabolites are reduced or accumulated, depending on the plant tissue .
3.4. Titratable Acidity
Most fruits are rich in organic acids, which are dissolved in the cell’s vacuole, either in a free or combined form such as salts, esters, glycosides, among others. The titratable acidity exemplifies the organic acids present that are free and is measured by neutralizing cellular juices or extracts of the fruit with a strong base. Titratable acidity values of coated fruits and stored at 10 ± 2°C was from 0.17 to 0.02% in 5 and 15 days, respectively (Figure 2(c)), while fruits stored at 22 ± 2°C recorded values from 0.03 to 0.01% at 5 and 15 days, respectively (Figure 2(d)). Fruits stored at 10 ± 2°C showed an increase in acidity during the first 5 days of storage. The fruit coated with mango starch (T5) had the highest acidity values (0.17%), descending gradually until 10 days of storage. The uncoated fruit presented lower acidity (0.16%) once the fruits were stored at 22 ± 2°C. Furthermore, the acidity of the treatments gradually decreased. Regarding the treatments stored at 22 ± 2°C, fruits coated with mango starch (T6) presented a higher percentage of acidity (0.04) compared with the other treatments at 5 days of storage, decreasing gradually until 10 days of storage. In titratable acidity, no significant difference between treatments per day of storage was found (Table 1). In this sense, the titratable acidity values of the coated and stored fruit at 10 ± 2°C were from 3.81 to 4.03% (Figure 2(c)), while in those stored at 22 ± 2°C, we recorded values from 2.1 to 2.32 (Figure 2(d)).
The determination of the color of a fruit or vegetable was established by the Commission Internacionale de L’Eclairage (CIELAB) where any color is located as a point in three-dimensional space . Figure 3 shows the behavior of coordinates, where in mango fruit stored at 10 ± 2°C remained in the green color for 10 days. Fruits coated with mango starch (T7) exhibited a lower value of (92.26), while the fruit coated with starch extracted from soursop pulp (T3) had the highest value of (96.58). From 10 days of storage, a considerable decrease in the values of in all the treatments was observed. On the contrary, fruit coated with mango starch (T7) displayed the highest value during 10 days of storage. Once the fruit were stored at room temperature, a slight increase between 65.18 and 67.95 among the treatments was recorded. Indeed, T7 fruits showed the highest value. values increased the first 5 days of storage, presenting a decrease at 10 days of storage. However, an increase was observed when the fruits were stored at 22 ± 2°C with values of 50.09 for T5 (the lowest value) to 53.17 for T7 (the highest value).
Table 2 shows the values of the coordinates of fruits stored at 10 ± 2°C. The coordinate showed an increase of 7.47 at 15 days of storage. On coordinate , the values were negative to positive on day 15 meaning a decrease in green color changing to yellow, which is normal for mango fruit once ripening begins, whereas for , values increased from the first to the 15th day of storage with a slight decrease in 10 days of storage, increasing significantly once the fruit were stored at 22 ± 2°C in all treatments. value was higher for the T1 fruit. The yellow color of T1 fruit was more intense than the rest of the treatments. Regarding the total change of color (ΔE), T5 showed the least change in color (ΔET5 = 23.08), and the T1 fruit the highest color change (ΔET1 = 26.94) in fruits stored under refrigeration conditions.
= luminosity, = change of color from green to red, and = change of color from blue to (C) chroma.
The fruit stored at 22 ± 2°C, HR >80% presented a significant gradual decrease in the coordinate for the four treatments from the beginning of storage (Figure 4). The fruit coated with starch from the banana pulp (T2), showed the highest value of , decreasing its value from 87.48 in the first 5 days of storage to 68.49 at the end of the period. Uncoated fruit (T8) exhibited the lowest values (72.45) during the first 5 days and 65.50 on the final day of storage. The values ranged between 63.8 and 69.5 in the first 5 days of storage. The fruit coated with mango starch (T6) presented the lowest value and the uncoated fruit (T8) showed the highest value at 5 and 10 days (65.25 and 67.12, respectively). On coordinate , similar behavior to was observed due to T6 and T8 fruits presented the lowest values (44.77 and 54.65, respectively) in 5 days and 51.58 and 54.28 in the final period.
Color progress of coated treatments with starch extracted from tropical fruit is shown in Table 3. A gradual increase in in all treatments except for the fruit coated with soursop starch (T4) was recorded. T4 showed a minor change in this coordinate (3.17). On the contrary, and coordinates, values were from negative to positive values. T4 fruit had the lowest value in (6.80) coordinate. Conversely, T6 fruit presented the highest value for (15.83) and the lowest change of color among all treatments (ΔET6 = 27.86). T8 exhibited the greatest color change (ΔET8 = 31.14).
= luminosity, = change of color from green to red, and = change of color from blue to (C) chroma.
In the and coordinates, no significant statistical difference between the treatments on days 5 and 10 was observed. However, values showed a statistically significant difference between treatments per day of storage (Table 1).
4.1. Weight Loss
The results presented in this investigation differ with those obtained by Estrada et al.  who evaluated the effect of two edible coatings based on cassava starch and citrus pectin in concentrations of 1.5% in mangoes. The authors concluded that the fruit coated with starch and pectin had no difference between them regarding the physiological loss of weight in comparison with the control. It was observed that those fruits exposed at 10 ± 2°C, at the 10th day of storage showed the greatest weight loss, while those stored at 22 ± 2°C were at the 5th day. The water loss in the fruit will depend on the pressure gradient between the tissue and the surrounding atmosphere, as well as the storage temperature [9, 18], and its respiration rate. The application of edible coatings creates a barrier in fruit that decreases dehydration during postharvest storage, avoiding weight loss, delaying the ripening process, and improving the appearance of the fruit . The cuticle of the fruit acts as a natural barrier for the diffusion of gases through the stomata that regulate the transpiration process and the exchange of gases between the fruit and the environment, preventing the excessive loss of water through evaporation to the environment [10, 27].
Valera et al.  evaluated the effect of three coatings (2% starch, 3% methylcellulose, and 2% chitosan adding a plasticizer) on the shelf life of mango fruit “Bocado,” reporting greater firmness in coated fruits than in untreated fruits during storage. In the present investigation, fruits coated with mango starch stored at 10 ± 2°C and 22 ± 2°C (T5 and T6) showed greater firmness in comparison with control fruits.
4.3. Total Soluble Solids (TSS)
In this investigation, fruits coated with mango starch (T5) stored at 10 ± 2°C, exhibited 28.76% of TSS in 15 days of storage, while the TSS content of T7 fruit was 26.43% on the same day of storage (Figure 2(a)). At 5 days of storage, the TSS content in the coated fruit was increased independent of the storage temperature (Figures 2(a) and 2(b)). Similar behavior between the treatments during 5 and 10 days of storage was observed (). Further, a significant statistical difference in 15 days of storage was recorded (Table 1). Palafox-Carlos et al.  evaluated the physiological parameters, the content, and antioxidant activity in four states of maturity (RS1, RS2, RS3, and RS4) in mango “Ataulfo,” obtaining 21.3% Brix in consumption maturity (RS4) of the fruit. The results found by the author of that study are lower than those reported in this investigation.
4.4. Titratable Acidity
The fruit stored at 22 ± 2°C showed a gradual decrease in acidity from day 5 up to day 10 of storage. The mango is a fruit with high organic acid content in the preclimacteric stage that once harvested, during the ripening stage, the organic acids are lost . According to Palafox-Carlos et al. , the acidity decreases when the mango ripens, while the citric, ascorbic, and malic acids are used as substrates during the respiration of the fruit.
Lawson et al.  evaluated the ripening effect on the physicochemical characteristics and physiological behavior of three mango varieties of the Southeast Asia region: “Chokanan,” “Golden Phoenix,” and “Water Lily.” The results of that investigation mention that the cuticle color will depend on the variety of mango and the cuticle of the three mango varieties showed high values for , less green (increase in the values of ) and an increase in the values of as the ripening progressed. These fluctuations coincide with those of the reported in this investigation. values are associated with the sugar content in the fruit, while the values of and are associated with the chlorophyll and carotenoids content, increasing the total of the sugars, chlorophyll, and carotenoids gradually as the fruit ripens . The color of fruit and vegetables are the result of pigments such as chlorophyll, carotenoids in chloroplasts, chromoplasts, and phenolic pigments (proanthocyanins, anthocyanins, and flavonols) in the vacuole which are degraded during ripening. The expression of pigment color is also influenced by physical factors such as the presence of cuticular waxes, trichomes, shapes, and orientation of the cells in the epidermis and subepidermis . These changes are associated with the fruit ripening, which normally the climacteric fruits lose their green color during ripening. The color of the fruit is one of the most important aspects that the consumer takes into account for the purchase or consumption of a product .
The starch-based coating extended the shelf life of stenospermocarpic mango fruit up to 15 days (10 days at 10°C and 5 days at 22°C.). The fruit stored at 10°C for 10 days showed no unfavorable alterations in firmness, color, and total soluble solids, favoring the organoleptic characteristics.
The statistic analysis data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
The project was supported by the Fondo Sectorial de Investigación para la Educación (SEP-CONACyT) (grant number 242718). The first author thanks the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) for the financial support provided during the Master and Doctoral studies.
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