|S Joni Munarso||Indonesian Center for Agricultural Postharvest Research and Development, Jl. Tentara Pelajar no. 12, Bogor 16114, Indonesia|
|Sari Intan Kailaku||Indonesian Center for Agricultural Postharvest Research and Development, Jl. Tentara Pelajar no. 12, Bogor 16114, Indonesia|
|Abdullah bin Arif||Indonesian Center for Agricultural Postharvest Research and Development, Jl. Tentara Pelajar no. 12, Bogor 16114, Indonesia|
|Kirana Sanggrami Sasmitaloka|
|Kun Tanti Dewandari|
|Siti Mariana Widayanti|
The objective of this research is to study the reduction of chili postharvest losses (PHL) after implementation of aqueous ozone treatment, perforated packaging and refrigerated transportation in inter-city distribution. The completely randomized design method was used in the research, with five levels of combination treatments of chili: (i) aqueous ozone treatment; refrigerated transportation; (ii) no ozone treatment; refrigerated transportation; (iii) aqueous ozone treatment; non-refrigerated transportation; (iv) no ozone treatment; non-refrigerated transportation; and (v) existing handling practice as a control treatment. The study was conducted on a large scale in order to imitate the practice of local traders when distributing chili to other cities, with three repetitions. Each repetition used 850 kg of chili, which was transported from Magelang District, Central Java to Bogor, West Java (541.5 km), a journey of approximately 15-17 hours. Temperature and relative humidity in the vehicles were monitored and recorded. Quality analysis included decayed/damaged chili and chili with inappropriate harvest age, grouped into four types, namely physical/mechanical, physiological, microbiological, and green chili; color and texture. The quantity parameter was determined by measuring weight loss. It was concluded that the implementation of aqueous ozone treatment and improved transportation handling technology using refrigerated vehicles could reduce the postharvest losses of chili by 60.61%. Quantity loss was reduced from 2.16% to 1.82% and quality loss from 6.70% to 1.68%. Moreover, the color and texture (hardness) of the chili was maintained, showing a preserved freshness, which is an important parameter in chili marketing.
Aqueous ozone treatment; Chili; Postharvest losses; Quality analysis; Refrigerated transportation
Postharvest losses (PHL) are a worldwide concern these days, in the light not only of unstable food prices, but also more importantly because of decreasing food availability. PHL reduction technology is considered to be a solution to help maintain the availability and quality of fresh produce (Kitinoja, 2013).
Chili is one of the primary commodities monitored by the Government of Indonesia, due to its integral part in the Indonesian diet and cuisine. Over the years, chili price volatility has increased, with price swings occurring more than once every year, resulting in price increases of over 100% in a 3-to 4-month period (Webb and Kosasih, 2011). It was reported internationally when the price of chili increased as much as 10-fold at the end of 2010, reaching a higher price than beef. Repeated high price increases drive up inflation and become a matter of national concern and source of debate at every level (Webb et al., 2012).
Unlike with other commodities, this price volatility cannot always be explained as a result of changes in consumer demand. Although it is used as a cooking condiment, and market demand is rather inelastic (other than in the Holy Month of Ramadhan, when a surge in demand takes place), the price swings of chili have been persistent during the last decade (Webb and Kosasih, 2011; Webb et al., 2012). It is reasonable to say that the price fluctuations are caused by the production and distribution system (Webb and Kosasih, 2011).
The level of chili productivity in Indonesia over the past 5 years has been around 6 tons/ha. The national production volume was 1,045,000 tons in 2016, which exceeded the total consumption of approximately 760,000 tons. However, two case studies in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra (Iswari and Srimaryati 2014) and in Magelang, Central Java (ICAPRD & PT. Agro Indo Mandiri, 2018), revealed that the loss of chili during the supply chain reached 38% and 17%, respectively. These data suggest a relatively high discrepancy between the amount of chili available in the market and the consumption rate of the community. This may explain the price fluctuations and the occurrence of negative trade balances of chili in the past, when import volume was comparably higher than export volume. This situation is likely to recur in the future if a PHL reduction effort is not made.
As with other horticultural products, chili tends to be perishable due to its high water content and continued active metabolism after harvest, raising challenges for those along the supply chain (farmers, traders and retailers) to maintain its postharvest quality and prevent losses (Mahajan et al., 2017). The value of commodities is also influenced by plant-disturbing organisms (Wijanarko et al., 2017). Various technologies had been developed by researchers to reduce PHL, including ozonation (Iswari and Srimaryati, 2014; Nurdjannah et al., 2014; Setyabudi et al., 2016; Asgar et al., 2017). Moreover, improved transportation conditions are necessary, especially in Indonesia, where chili must be distributed daily from production centers to different areas. However, only a few practitioners in the field had implemented these technologies, and combining postharvest technology and improved transportation for chili is unheard of. The lack of experiments using large scale and actual conditions from farm to market is one of the challenges to implementation by practitioners in their commercial activity. The objective of this research is to study the reduction of chili postharvest losses after implementation of aqueous ozone treatment, perforated packaging and refrigerated transportation in inter-city distribution. The postharvest handling activities in the study were conducted with the actual daily schedules, scales and conditions of the farmers.
A large-scale experiment was conducted on chili using aqueous ozone treatment and improved transportation conditions with refrigerated vehicles (length of transportation was 541.5 km, taking 15-17 hours). The combination of aqueous ozone treatment and improved transportation handling technology was able to reduce the quality losses (a 74.92% loss reduction) and quantity losses (a 15.74% loss reduction) of chili. Ozone treatment accounted for the decrease in chili microbiological losses, while improved packaging prevented high mechanical losses, as well as damage due to physiological reasons. Moreover, refrigerated transportation also helped with physiological losses, by allowing better respiration for the chili. Single handling technology improvement is also applicable to the reduction of postharvest losses to meet the different needs according to the length of transportation distance and duration. Ozone treatment without refrigerated transportation reduced quality losses by 50.89% and quantity losses by 17.13%, while refrigerated transportation without ozone treatment reduced quality losses by 58.95% and quantity losses by 34.26%. Aqueous ozone treatment did not alter the color or texture of the chili.
The authors would like to thank the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) for providing research funding for this work, as well as PT. Agro Indo Mandiri for their cooperation in conducting the work.
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