Optimization of Postharvest Handling of Eggplant Using the Taguchi Technique

Patrick E. Cortbaoui, Michael O. Ngadi


Taguchi technique was used to optimize postharvest handling process to minimize quality loss of fresh eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). To date Taguchi approach has been widely used in various subject areas, but no application to postharvest quality has been reported until the present time with the exception of some previous work conducted by the same authors in 2015. Measuring postharvest losses is an essential operational strategy to enhance postharvest management and to curtail quality loss of fresh horticultural commodity. In this study, Taguchi approach was able to quantify the quality for all combinations of environmental factors/levels (T, RH, Light & time) used in this experiment and were expressed in terms of Signal-to-Noise ratios. For each quality attribute, the highest ratio was determined which corresponded to the least variability of the noise factors around the desired target of this attribute. Taguchi method was successfully used to quantify and predict postharvest quality losses in response to different combinations of environmental factors and it identified optimum conditions for handling and storage of eggplant. As a result, this technique can enhance postharvest quality management from field to fork and alleviate quality loss of fresh fruits and vegetables. This technique could, therefore be recommended as a robust design of quality in postharvest technology and could be applied to many other crops exposed to various environmental conditions.

Keywords: Eggplant, postharvest, quality loss, optimization, Taguchi technique, Signal-to-Noise ratio.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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