Journal article Open Access

Calcium treatment and harvesting stage influence on textural quality of eggplant (cv. Africa black beauty) fruits

Akpokodje, O. I.,; Uguru, H.

Effects of foliar application of calcium (Ca2+) fertilizer and maturity stage on texture quality of eggplant (cv. Africa black beauty) skin and flesh was evaluated in this study. The eggplant fruits were harvested at three maturity stages (30 DAF, 40 DAF and 50 DAF) and their skin and flesh firmness were tested for, using the Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS) method, with the aid of the Universal Testing Machine (Testometric model) with accuracy of 0.001N. The results showed that calcium treatment had significant (p ≤ 0.05) effect on the eggplant fruits' skin and flesh firmness. Calcium treated fruits skin firmness was higher (189.47 N) when compared to the control fruits skin firmness (158.63 N); while a flesh firmness of 93.85 N was recorded for the calcium treated fruits, which was higher than 78.68 N recorded for the control fruits. Fruit texture was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher at the early maturity stage; as the fruit skin and flesh firmness decreased linearly as maturation of the fruits progressed. The results indicated that the texture quality of eggplant fruits is highly dependent on the soil amendment and harvesting stage. These findings will be useful in predicting the textural behaviour of eggplant fruits and will be of great help in the fruits’ processing industries.

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