Unravelling physiological and biochemical attributes influencing post harvest quality of gladiolus spikes after packaging and low temperature storage

Jhanji, Shalini ; Dhatt, Kiranjeet Kaur

Abstract

The perishable nature of flowers urge for their appropriate post harvest management especially storage and packaging that keep the quality and potential vase life for better value. Gladiolus, commonly called as Sword lily, is a commercially important cut flower crop with elegant spikes, bright florets and good keeping quality. In the present study, we investigated the physiological and biochemical attributes affecting post harvest life of gladiolus spikes after packaging and storage. The spikes of four gladiolus cvs. Punjab Glance, Punjab Glad-1, Punjab Glad-2 and Punjab Pink Elegance were harvested at tight bud stage and packed in PP sleeves (25 μm) and stored vertically at 4-5°C for 6, 9 and 12 days. After storage, the post harvest quality of both packed and unpacked spikes declined with more adverse effect on unpacked spikes. Among different storage durations, the spikes stored for 9 days showed good keeping quality parameters viz., vase life, per cent flower opened, floret size, days to opening of basal floret, maximum number of florets open at one time and water absorbed per spike which were at par with spikes stored for 6 days. The spikes stored for 12 days were found to be unacceptable in comparison to freshly harvested spikes and spikes stored for 6 and 9 days. The improved quality of spikes stored in sleeves could be accounted due to higher membrane stability index, relative water content, catalase and peroxidase activity as compared to unpacked spikes. Thus, loss in quality of spikes as compared to fresh during storage up to 9 days in PP sleeves is better than the complete loss of produce during transportation and gluts. Hence, the spikes of gladiolus could be stored dry at 4±0.5°C in PP sleeves for 9 days without much influence on its post harvest quality.

Keyword(s)

Antioxidant enzymes; Modified Atmosphere Packaging; Sword lilies; Vase Life

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