Poor postharvest handling, microbial infestation, and high respiration rate are some the factors are responsible for poor storage life of perishable commodities. Therefore, effective preservation of these commodities is needed to lower the damages and extend shelf life. Preservation is regarded as the action taken to maintain desired properties of a perishable commodity as long as possible. Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is perishable fruit with high nutritive value; however, has very short shelf-life. Therefore, effective preservation and drying is needed to extend its storage life. Drying temperature and preservatives significantly influence the quality of perishable vegetables and fruits during drying. The current study investigated the effect of different temperatures and preservatives on drying kinetics and organoleptic quality attributes of persimmon. Persimmon fruits were treated with preservatives (25% honey, 25% aloe vera, 2% sodium benzoate, 1% potassium metabisulfite, and 2% citric acid solutions) under different drying temperatures (40, 45, and 50℃). All observed parameters were significantly affected by individual effects of temperatures and preservatives, except ash contents. Similarly, interactive effects were significant for all parameters except total soluble sugars, ash contents, and vitamin C. Generally, fruits treated with citric acid and dried under 50℃ had 8.2% moisture loss hour-1, 14.9 drying hours, 0.030 g H2O g-1 hr-1, 1.23∘ Brix of total soluble solids, 6.71 pH, 1.35% acidity, and 6.3 mg vitamin C. These values were better than the rest of the preservatives and drying temperatures used in the study. Therefore, treating fruits with citric acid and drying at 50℃ was found a promising technique to extend storage life of persimmon fruits. It is recommended that persimmon fruits dried at 50℃ and preserved in citric acid can be used for longer storage period.
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