As with every good on the planet, with the exception of cheese, wine, and treated meats like ham, the rule to follow is always, “The fresher, the better.” However, fruits like mangoes and bananas are prone to disease, have short shelf lives, and bruise easily. While refrigerating these fruits will definitely extend their shelf lives, the sudden change of temperature may cause discoloration and abnormal ripening of the fruits.
But these bad things can be avoided already, thanks to Dr. Antonio Acedo Jr. and his team who have developed the Hot Water Dip (HWD) treatment. Now we can get the most out of mangoes and bananas by improving the way the fruits are handled after harvest.
HWD entails dipping the bananas and mangoes into water tanks at 47°C to 49°C and 51°C to 53°C, respectively, for 10 minutes. The chill treatment is then employed, wherein the fruits are subjected to temperatures ranging from 8°C to 10°C for eight to 10 days. Using this postharvest treatment yields better fruits. It results in inhibiting the ripening process, controlling insect infestation and disease, and improved response against stressful conditions.
For his contributions in the field of horticulture, Dr. Antonio Acedo Jr. won the Manuel V. Quisumbing Award in 2002, as well as the Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) Best R&D Paper Award in the 14th National Research Symposium organized by the Bureau of Agricultural Research in 2003. Today, Dr. Acedo teaches at Leyte State University, his alma mater. He has a doctorate degree in horticulture from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna.
► Dela Cruz, Rita T. Hot water dip improves banana and mango fruit quality. www.bar.gov.ph/bardigest/2003/jan-mar03_fruits_hotwater.asp