Influence of different storage temperatures and packing material in extending shelf life and quality attributes of palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer L.) neera
Palmyrah neera (inflorescence sap) is susceptible to natural fermentation at ambient temperature within a few hours of extraction due to enzymatic and microbial activity. Once fermented, neera becomes toddy which is unsuitable as a health drink or as a value-added product. Therefore, a study was carried out to investigate the influence of different packing materials and storage conditions on the shelf life and to keep the quality of palmyrah neera. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomised factorial design with two factors at unequal levels replicated thrice. HDPE 50 micron pouch (P1), PET bottle (P2) and glass bottle (P3) and cold storage at 2 oC (S1), cold storage at 4 oC (S2) and refrigerated storage (8-10 oC) (S3) were the packing material and storage conditions respectively used during experimentation. Physio-chemical properties viz., total soluble solids, pH and reducing sugars showed an increasing trend up to the 4th week of storage. At the same time, phenols, titrable acidity and alcohol content increased up to the 6th week of storage. Maximum total soluble solids (10.80 oBrix), reducing sugars (5.76%), minimum phenolic content (0.323 mg) and titrable acidity (1.116%) were recorded when palmyrah neera was packed in HDPE 50 micron pouch, whereas the maximum total soluble solids (10.83oBrix), reducing sugars (5.75%), minimum phenolic content (0.322 mg) and titrable acidity (1.14%) were recorded when palmyrah neera was stored at 2 oC. Among the different packing material and storage conditions, HDPE 50 micron and storage at 2 oC was effective in extending the shelf life and quality attributes of palmyrah neera.
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