Comparison of cold and traditional storage methods on the storability of selected onion (Allium cepa L.) cultivars

Abd Elgadir D. Ahmed, Mohammed E. Elkashif, Osman M. Elamin, Haroun I. Mahmoud

Abstract


Onion is a perishable crop which is traditionally stored in the open field. Hence, losses can reach up to 40% or more. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effects of some storage methods on the storability of selected onion cultivars. This study was carried out at the National Institute for the Promotion of Horticultural Exports Research Farm, University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan and at a commercial refrigerator at Wad Medani and at Hasahisa, in the seasons of 2011 and 2012. Treatments consisted of two types of storage methods, namely, storage in the open field and refrigerated storage, and three onion cultivars, namely, Fadasi, Kamleen Yellow and Baftaim. Onion bulbs from the three cultivars were bagged in jute sacks and then stored under the mentioned storage methods for 5 months. Treatments were arranged in a split plot design with three replicates. Storage methods were assigned to the main plots and cultivars to the sub-plots. Fresh weight was determined at the beginning of the storage period and then at monthly intervals. Sorting was carried out every month to calculate percentages of rotted, sprouted and green bulbs. Results showed that weight loss, rotting, sprouting, greening, and total loss percentages were significantly affected by storage methods and onion cultivars. Refrigerated storage resulted in the minimum weight loss compared to the traditional storage. Fadasi had the least weight loss, followed by Kamleen Yellow, and finally Baftaim which recorded the highest weight loss. Generally, rotting was negligible in the refrigerated

 

storage, whereas the traditional storage had the highest percentage of rotted bulbs. Baftaim cultivar recorded the highest percentage of rotted bulbs, followed by Kamleen Yellow, and finally Fadasi. The refrigerated storage had higher percentage of sprouted bulbs compared to the traditional one. However, Baftaim had the highest percentage of sprouted bulbs as compared to the other cultivars which were comparable. Bulb greening was negligible in the refrigerated method, while the traditional method recorded higher percentage of green bulbs. Generally, greening was negligible in Fadasi and Baftaim, whereas Kamleen Yellow recorded the highest. The minimum total loss percentage was recorded in the refrigerated storage as compared to the traditional one. However, Fadasi had the least total loss percentage, followed by Kamleen Yellow, and finally Baftaim. Hence, it is recommended to store onion bulbs of Fadasi and Kamleen Yellow cultivars using refrigerated storage.


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