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Lemon fruit faces lots of disease challenges when subjected to storage. Edible coatings are one of the most environment friendly technology that are used to minimize the moisture loss, oxidation processes or gases exchange, improve quality and shelf life of fruits. To study the influence of stevia leaves extract on post-harvest performance of lemons, a research study was carried out at Post-harvest Horticultural Laboratory, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar-Pakistan. Lemon fruits were subjected to different concentrations of stevia leaf extract (2, 4 and 6%) and then stored for different duration (0, 15, 30 and 45 days). The experimental results indicated that stevia leaf extract and storage duration significantly affected all quality attributes. The highest value of TSS, percent titratable acidity, ascorbic acid content with lowest value of fruit juice pH, TSS/Acid ratio and percent disease incidence were recorded in fruit subjected to 4% stevia extract. Similarly, lemon fruit stored for 45 days had highest value of TSS, TSS/Acid ratio, fruit juice pH, percent disease incidence and % weight loss. While maximum % acidity, ascorbic acid content was observed in freshly harvested fruit. It was concluded that lemon fruit subjected to stevia leaf extract (4%) sustained the biochemical attributes of lemon fruit during storage condition.
Keywords: Blue mold; Edible coating; Quality; Stevia; Stem end rot; Shelf life,