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Potential of Aloe vera gel coating for storage life extension and quality conservation of fruits and vegetables: an overview.


Aloe vera (ALV) with its unique nutritional profile is being used for food, health, and nutraceutical industries globally. Due to its organic nature, ALV gel coating has created lot of interest for exploring its potential in extending the shelf and storage life of fresh produce. ALV gel coating plays imperative role in delaying fruit ripening by lowering ethylene biosynthesis, respiration rate, and internal metabolic activities associated with fruit softening, color development, enzymatic browning, and decay. ALV gel coating reduces the microbial spoilage due to its antifungal properties and maintains visual appearance, firmness, sugar: acid ratio, total antioxidants, and phenolic contents with conserved eating quality. ALV coated fruits and vegetables showed reduced weight loss, superoxide ion (O2-.), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), ion leakage, and soluble solids content and exhibited higher acidity, anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities. It also delayed the enzymatic browning by inducing peroxidase (POD) activity during storage. Recent local studies also revealed that ALV gel coating markedly conserved higher consuming quality and extended storage period (>1.34-fold) of different fruits and vegetables. Overall, Aloe vera gel coating alone or in combination with other organic compounds has shown great potential as a food-safe and eco-friendly coating for maintaining the quality of fruits and vegetables over extended period and reducing postharvest losses in the supply chain.