BACKGROUND: New varieties of plantain and cooking banana with higher yields and improved pest and disease resistance are continuously being bred. There is therefore the need to study their properties during postharvest ripening. This work investigates the effects of ripening on the dry matter content, pH, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid content, browning potential, starch content and reducing and non-reducing sugar contents of new FHIA 19 and FHIA 20 plantain and FHIA 03 cooking banana hybrids. RESULTS: The starch and ascorbic acid contents of all hybrids decreased as ripening progressed. The starch and dry matter contents of the FHIA 03 cooking banana were reduced from about 750 to <100 g kg-1 and from 260 to 190 g kg-1 respectively after stage 9 of ripening, when samples had more black than yellow colour. The FHIA 03 cooking banana had the highest content of non-reducing sugars. The titratable acidity of the FHIA 03 cooking banana was higher than that of the FHIA 19 and FHIA 20 plantains. The browning potential of all hybrids decreased after stage 7 of ripening, when samples were yellow with black spots. The FHIA 19 plantain had the lowest browning potential. CONCLUSION: Significant reductions in the dry matter, ascorbic acid and starch contents of the plantain and cooking banana hybrids were observed during the progress of ripening. The cooking banana variety contained lower levels of dry matter, ascorbic acid and starch than the plantain varieties.
- Biochemical changes
- Cooking banana