Nutraceutical changes during ripening of bael [Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa] fruits harvested at different maturity periods
Fruits of two bael selections (CISH B-1 and CISH B-2) were harvested at 320, 335 and 345 days after fruit set and ripened under ambient conditions to observe the changes in nutritional value in fruits during maturity and ripening. Each successive harvesting period had higher TSS, polyphenols and total pectin contents vis-à-vis lower tannic acid and marmelosin contents in both the selections. Psoralen content though did not change at all in CISH B-1 with each harvesting period but decreased significantly in CISH B-2. In ripened fruits of selections B-1 and B-2, TSS, polyphenols, tannic acid and total pectin showed an increasing trend with the prolongation of picking stages, while a decreasing pattern was observed in case of marmelosin and psoralen. Upon characterization of total pectin, water extracted fraction revealed an increasing pattern and alkali extracted fraction a decreasing pattern in both the unripe and ripe fruits of selections B-1 and B-2 with the prolongation of harvesting time. Ripened fruits of selections B-1 and B-2, when collected after 335 days of fruit setting, possessed highest amounts of polyphenols (1.50 and 1.61 g/100 g in B-1 and B-2, respectively), tannic acid (1.96 g/100 g in B-1 and 2.02 g/100 g in B-2), total pectin (8.03 and 7.82 g/100 g pulp in B-1 and B-2, respectively) and marmelosin (427 and 300 μg/g in B-1 and B-2, respectively) along with best organoleptic score (7.4 for B-1 and 7.1 for B-2). Therefore, bael fruit harvested at 335 days after fruit set have better nutritional and sensory qualities and more useful for processing as well as phyto-pharmaceutical industries.
Aegle marmelos; Bael; Maturity; Nutraceutical changes; Ripening
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