Samson Marvellous Oladeji1 *, Adeniyi Olufemi Adesina1 and Oyebola Odunayo Olabinjo
The perishability nature of sweet oranges demands them to be stored at a lower temperature to minimize the chemical, biochemical and physiological changes. The high cost and energy involved in the use of conventional refrigerators is a daunting problem in several developing countries. An evaporative cooling structure is a prominent storage system for reducing the temperature and increasing the relative humidity in an enclosure with no or little energy input. In this research work, the efficiency of three differently padded evaporative cooling structures (Jute pad"B", Luffa Cylindrical pad"C", and local sponge pad"D") was evaluated by monitoring the change in proximate composition, Vitamin C, and total sugar using standard analytical procedures at three days intervals for eight days with refrigerator and open-air as controls. The results showed a 16.06% loss of Vitamin C in C, 25.93% in D, 28.04% in B, while 44.38% and 10.06% in open air and refrigerator, respectively.
Total sugar increased in all the cooling structures with maximum value in B (9.07%) followed by C (8.64%) and D (8.18%), but open-air and refrigerator recorded 10.54% and 6.55%, respectively. Furthermore, in proximate analysis, the moisture content was 76.258%, which decreased slightly in all the storage systems except in the refrigerator, where it slightly increased (76.260%). Also, ash content, crude protein, and fats showed no significant difference (p<0.05), but carbohydrate and crude fiber significantly increased and decreased, respectively. The efficiencies of the cooling structures for the preservation of Vitamin C and total sugar are ranked as C>D>B and D>C>B, respectively.