Assessment of postharvest handling of carrots (Daucus Carota L.) a case study in the Asante Mampong Municipality

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A study was carried out to assess the postharvest handling practices carried out on carrot roots in the Asante Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. A structured questionnaire was used during the survey to collect data on handling practices. Both quantitative and qualitative losses were determined. The study was carried out from November 2011 to April 2012. Fifty each of Producers, Traders (retailers and wholesalers) and Consumers were sampled for the study. Handling practices such as pre-cooling, packaging, transportation and quantitative loss assessment were carried out on producer’s farm. Traders were also assessed on processing and quantity lost. Consumers on the other hand were assessed on methods of storing carrots and shelf life. Ninety-six percent of producers did not pre-cool their produce after harvest. For transportation, 54% of producers used KIA trucks with open buckets to transport their produce to the main market centre in Asante Mampong, while 25% used urvan buses and 18% used taxis. 92% of producers sorted and graded their produce to traders. Quantitative loss of carrots at the farm gate was 4.29±1.48%. Processing of carrots by traders was either by washing and scrapping or washing only. In all, 84% washed carrots using metal sponge, 14% used brush to scrape whiles 2% wash with bare hands. Quantitative loss of carrots at the market was 6.49±3.93%. The most preferred storage method for carrots by consumers was refrigeration. 92% stored carrots in refrigerators with 8% storing in cupboards under ambient temperature. The treatments were randomly replicated three times with 30 roots in each replication. Quality parameters such as Weight loss (g), Decay/rot (%), Appearance/Shrinkage (%), Moisture content (%), Dry matter (%), Firmness (N), and Total Soluble Salts (0Brix), were studied over the period of storage. Analysis of variance showed significant differences (P≤0.05) in Weight loss which ranged between (14.13g and 26.17g), Firmness (6.97 N and 7.37 N), and Decay/rot (3.33% and 56.67%). The results of Appearance/Shrinkage (%), Moisture content (%), Dry matter (%), Total Soluble Salts (TSS) 0Brix, however did not show any significant difference (p≥0.05). The raw carrot roots were found to have a longer storage life (5 days) than the washed (4 days) and the scrapped (3 days) under ambient conditions. Baby carrots not meant for immediate consumption should therefore be stored raw if storage is under ambient conditions.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Research And Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the Requirements for the award of Master of Science (M.Sc. Postharvest Technology) Degree