Potatoes Sprout Suppressant Activity of Essential Oils of Monodora tenuifolia, Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum

Abstract Storage of potato for a long time is very challenging because of sprouting. Sprouting affects the quality of table potatoes and reduces their availability to within a few months after harvest. Short time availability of potatoes after harvest is not economical. The use of synthetic chemical such as chlorpropham to suppress potato sprout growth is very effective but environmentally unfriendly. Thus, any treatment that uses natural products to inhibit sprout growth and extend shelf life of potatoes could be beneficial. This research was conducted to investigate the potentiality of three essential oils to suppress potato sprouting during storage. Essential oils were extracted from Monodora tenuifolia, Ocimum gratissimum and Cymbopogon citratus by hydrodistillation in Clevenger-type-apparatus and analyzed for potato sprout inhibitory activity. The essential oils were screened using tomato seeds and the results revealed that the three oils were promising potato sprout suppressants. The dust formulations of these oils were then prepared using alumina, bentonite and kaolin. Each formulation contained 300 mg of essential oil in 5 g of the adsorbent. 1 kg of potatoes was held in each cardboard box (30 x 22 x 11 cm) and the dust formulation was applied to the contents of the box. All boxes containing the treated potatoes were kept in a dark room at ambient temperatures for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12th week, sprout lengths were measured and the data obtained were subjected to statistical analyses. Ocimum gratissimum oil was the most active essential oil against potato sprouting followed by Cymbopogon citratus oil. This study showed that Ocimum gratissimum oil significantly inhibited sprouting of potato in storage at room temperature, and therefore could be used to prepare potato sprout suppressant. Bentonite proved to be the best adsorbent for essential oil formulation that would slowly release the oil for a long time.

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Updated: April 28, 2018 — 1:48 am