Curing reduces postharvest deterioration of biozyme® produced potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum L.)
Karanja, B. K.
Isutsa, D. K.
Aguyoh, Joseph Nyamori
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Potato is among food crops that are heavily relied upon for food security assurance worldwide. Potato tubers are consumed in their fresh form and therefore require proper storage to prolong their life after harvest. Being succulent, massive losses result if bruised, exposed to light and low relative humidity. The present experiment was conducted to find optimal conductions that prolong the shelf-life of potato tubers grown using the biomass and succulence enhancing Biozyme® Potatoes were grown in a split plot experiment, arranged in a randomized complete block design. The experiment was replicated three times and repeated once. Main plots were assigned to potato cultivar (Tigoni and Asante), while subplots were assigned to Biozyme® foliar feed rate (0, 125, 250, 500 and 750 ml/ha). Each subplot was planted with 28 seed potato tubers spaced at 30 cm x 70 cm in four rows. A distance of 1 m separated adjacent subplots and main plots. After harvesting, ware potato tubers, from each treatment, were divided into four groups for four postharvest handling regimes (Cured + Dark, Cured + Room, Not Cured + Dark, and Not Cured + Room Storage). Each postharvest regime had 20 tubers, replicated four times. Weight loss, shrinkage and rotting percentages increased, but firmness decreased with increase in Biozyme® rate. The deterioration was counteracted by Curing and Dark Storage of the potato tubers that reduced weight loss, shrinkage and rotting, but increased firmness. Thus, foliar-feeding potato plants with 500 ml/ha Biozyme® followed by Curing and Dark Storage of harvested tubers are recommended to ensure high potato tuber yields and effective reduction of premature postharvest deterioration of the tubers during storage. KEYWORDS : Firmness, Rotting, Shelf-life, Shrinkage, Tuber handling, Weight loss.