Banana, one of the earliest crops cultivated by man, remains to be one of the most
important fruit crops, especially of the tropics. The term ‘banana’ was introduced from
the Guinea Coast of West Africa by the Portuguese, while the term ‘plantain’ (for
cooking bananas) was derived from ‘plantano’ of the Spaniards (Purseglove, 1975). But
generally the term “banana” includes all edible varieties eaten as ripe fruits or as cooked
food. The earliest reference to banana is found in the Hindu classics. A picturesque
description of the banana plantation around the green bower of “Valmiki Maharshi” is
given in the “Ramayana”. The generic name of banana –Musa was derived from the
Arabic word ‘Mouxh”. Presumably bananas were known to the Arabs from very early
times and it appears in ‘Holy Khoran’ as the ‘tree of paradise” – which is equivalent to
the “tree of knowledge” of Christian tradition. Accordingly, the specific name was given
as “paradisiacal”. In Plenius’s Historia Naluralis”, banana is mentioned as the major item
of food of Indian sages. The great historian Disraeli mentioned banana as the most
delicious thing in the world.
Bananas were called “figa” in Europe in the 10th century A.D. and it is still so in
the West Indies (Purseglave, 1975). In India, banana is commonly called as “Kela” in the
northern states. In South India it is called ‘Arati’ or ‘Anati’ in Andhra Pradesh. ‘Bale’ in
Karnataka. ‘Vazhai’ in Tamil Nadu and ‘Vazha’ in Kerala. In the Sanskrit literature it is
often referred to as ‘Kadali’ or ‘Rambha’.
The importance of dessert and cooking bananas can hardly be exaggerated. They
play a major role as a complementary food in the local diets. The food value of bananas
has been appreciated for a very long time and continuous efforts are being made to
broaden and extend the form in which bananas are utilized. One or the other part of the
plant is used on all auspicious occasions such as wedding, festivals, ceremonies of all
sorts and even for worship in India. Banana provides a more balanced diet than many
other fruits. On unit area basis, banana produces about fifteen times more energy than
wheat. The annual per capita consumption of banana is about 60 kg in Brazil and Costa
Rica while it is 50 kg in India. In some of the African countries it, goes up to 275 kg,
rising to the status of a staple food and largely replaces the consumption of cereals.
Banana is one of the rare fruits which satisfy the definition of a good food i.e., one
that contains an ample proportion of nutritive constituents which are easily digested and
absorbed, while available at reasonable cost. It is one of the most easily assimilated fruits.
From the nutritional point of view, banana has a calorific value ranging from 67 to 137
calories per 100 g and is closely comparable with potatoes but digested more easily. It is
relatively cheap. The average composition of banana fruit is as follows according to
Gopalan et al. (1980).
Moisture 70.0% Phosphorus 290.0 ppm
Carbohydrate 27.0% Calcium 80.0 ppm
Crude fibre 0.5% Iron 6.0 ppm
Protein 1.2% Carotene 0.5 ppm
Fat 0.3% Riboflavin 0.5 ppm
Ash 0.9% Niacin 7 ppm
Ascorbic acid 120.0 ppm
There are traces of potassium, copper, iodine, manganese, magnesium, sodium, zinc and
cobalt as well.
Besides the use of fruits for dessert and culinary purposes, ripe fruits of some
cultivars like ‘Nendran’ (French Plantain) are used as a favourite breakfast item after
steaming in South India and in Latin America. ‘Nendran’ is also preferred for preparing
sweets, halwa and chips. Chips making has already developed into a small scale industry
in the Kerala state. There is great potential for this to be developed further, exploiting the
internal and fast increasing external demand. Sweets made of slices of mature fruit
steamed and dipped in spiced jaggery emalsion or sugar syrup is delicious and keep for
long. Chips made by frying mature fruit slices in edible oil after dipping in brine are a
good snack. Banana figs, which are sundried slices of the fruit with fig like consistency,
are commonly prepared in many countries. The fully ripened ‘Nendran’ fruits are sun
dried, preserved and used in Kerala.
The ‘Kunnan’ and ‘Nendran’ varieties are ideally suited for preparing baby foods.
The possibility of utilizing other high yielding varieties of banana for the purpose needs
to be explored. Banana flour made into and diluted with milk is a good food for babies,
invalids and patients suffering from gastritis. Banana ash is highly alkaline and therefore
can check acidity in stomach and bowel, heart burn and colic. Regular use of sweet and
aonatic fruits of ‘Anbalakaiali’ – a classic variety grown in South India is said to cure
even bad intestinal ulcers. Ayurvedic preparations are made from ripe banana fruits,
central core and male bud.
Banana fruits and other parts of the plant are useful in one way or other. The
central core of the pseudostem and the male bud (heart) are commonly utilized as
vegetables in South India and also in the African and South – East Asian countries. They
form a good subsidiary food material when cooked and mixed with salt and masala.
Besides providing a food containing easily digestible starch, they are also said to
counteract the ill effects of stones, hair etc. consumed accidentally with food. Hence they
form the best food for patients suffering from intestinal ulcer. Aqueous extract of the
central core of the stem when consumed regularly can check and cure liver and kidney
ailments. The physicians of naturopathy effectively utilize this extract against many such
diseases. In the African countries, the extract is taken by mothers to improve lactation.
Starch is manufactured from the pseudostem. About 8 per cent starch can be extracted
from it. Rhizomes of small suckers, particularly of ‘Nendran’ variety is consumed in parts
of Kerala after slicing in culinary preparations. With the growing awareness on the
medicinal properties of banana rhizome and plant parts, all our efforts must be made to
popularize these efficient food materials which are easily available in plenty, free of cost
or at nominal cost. Undoubtedly, this will help our masses a lot from the nutritional,
health and economic points of view.
Chopped banana rhizome, pseudostem, green leaves, peduncle, poor quality fruits
and fruit peelings have great potential as cattle feed. As a source of cheap and readily
available roughage, these items are of immense utility in the high concentrate ration of
livestock. Chopped rhizomes and pseudostem are fed to cattle after steaming, particularly
for those troubled by kidney worms.
The juice from the pseudostem can be used to prepare dyes as it possess the
property of a permanent stain. The pseudostem of banana can be used for manufacturing
paperboards. Banana leaves are very popular in South India and Africa as prestigious
dinner plates, wrapping material and even at temporary umbrellas. All the plant parts can
be used as efficient mulching materials. The dried leaf sheaths and petioles are used for
making crude ropes, tying materials, screens, circular pads for carrying head loads and as
a thatching material.
Banana yields good fibre too, species such as Musa textiles are well known for
their good quality fibre. Cultivated species of banana as well’ have a high potential in this
regard. Fibre, paper, rough cordages etc. have got great commercial possibilities as
Merits as crop
As a crop, banana has various factors of added significance to us. To the Keralite,
the term ‘fruits’ is rather a synonym to ‘banana’ and is liked by one and all, available
round the year at a reasonable cost. This semi-perennial fruit vegetable food crop can
grow well in a variety of situations under a wide range of soil and agro-climatic
conditions. Adapted varieties are available for cultivation under open and shaded
conditions as well as for rainfed and irrigate planting. It can well be fitted in crop
rotations, multiple cropping, intercropping, relay cropping and even in companion
cropping. Since the crop combines well with our major perennial crops like coconut,
arecanut, rubber (early stage) etc. the key role of the crop in the economy of the State
needs no emphasis. Banana is often grown as a shade cum nurse crop in coffee, tea,
cocoa, pepper and rubber plantations, especially in the early stage.
Homestead farming is unique to the State of Kerala and banana constitutes an
integral part of these homesteads. Adaptation of a large number of varieties of banana to
ratooning is of great practical utility both in the homestead system of cultivation and in
commercial farming. Multitude of varieties of choice to the grower and consumer are
available. To an extent, the plant and its products form a part of the Indian culture and
A. TROPICAL AND SUB-TROPICAL FRUITS
Banana : Banana (Musa paradisiacal L.) occupies over 1,64,000 hectares, mainly in
Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra
Pradesh and Bihar. Though some inferior types of banana are found growing as far north
as the Himalayas, its commercial importance is mainly limited to the more tropical
conditions, such as those prevailing in central, southern and north-eastern India. It is a
moisture and heat-loving plant and cannot tolerate frost or arid conditions.
VARIETIES : Cultivated varieties are broadly divided into two groups : table and
culinary. Among the former are ‘Poovan’ in Madras (also known as ‘Karpura
Chakkare-keli’ in Andhra Pradesh); ‘Mortaman’, ‘Champa’ and ‘Amrit Sagar’ in West
Bengal; ‘Basrai’, ‘Safed Velchi’, Lal Velchi’ and ‘Rajeli’ in Maharashtra; ‘Champa’ and
‘Mortaman’ in Assam and Orissa; and ‘Rastali’, ‘Sirumalai’, ‘Chakkarekeli’, ‘Ney
Poorvan’, ’Kadali’ and ‘Pacha Nadan’ in southern India. ‘Basrai’, which is known under
different names, viz., ‘Mauritius’, ‘Vamankeli’, ‘Cavendish’, ‘Governor’, ‘Harichal’, is
also grown in central and southern India. Recently, the ‘Robusta’ variety is gaining
popularity in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The ‘Virupakshi’ variety (Hill banana) is the
most predominant variety in the Palni Hlls of Tamil Nadu. Among the culinary varieties,
Nendran bananas, ‘Monthan’, ‘Myndoli’ and ‘Pacha Montha Bathis’ are the leading
commercial varieties in southern India, ‘Gros Michel’ is a recent introduction into
southern India; it is suitable for cultivation only under garden-land conditions and is
generally fastidious in its cultural requirements. It is not, therefore, in favour with the
PROPAGATION AND PLANTING
Propagation is by suckers or off-shoots which spring at the base of a banana-tree from
underground rhizomes. Vigorous suck, with stout base, tapering towards the top and
possessing narrow leaves, are selected for planting. Each sucker should have a piece of
underground stem with a few roots attached to it.
Banana suckers can be planted throughout the year in southern India, except during
summer, whereas in the rest of the country, the rainy season is preferred. They are planted
in small pits, each just enough to accommodate the base of a sucker. The planting
distance varies from 2 m x 2 m in the case of dwarf varieties to 4 m x 4 m in the case of
very tall varieties.
MANURING : An application of 20 to 25 kg of farm yard manure, together with about 5
kg of wood-ashes per plant is given at planting time. In southern India, ammonium
sulphate is applied one month, five months and nine months after planting at 20 kg per ha
each time. In western India, a little over 2 kg of oilcake per stool is applied during the
first three months after planting. A complete fertilizer mixture may be applied to supply
100 to 200 kg of N, 100 to 200 kg of P2O5 and 200 to 400 kg of K2O per ha. A
green-manure crop is also considered beneficial. Trials at the Indian Institute of
Horticultural Research have shown that for the ‘Robusta’ variety, a fertilizer mixture
comprising 180 g of N + 108 g of P2O5 + 225 g of K2O per plant is ideal.
AFTER CARE : The removal of suckers, dry leaves and pseudostems, from which the
fruits have been harvested, constitute the main after care. Daughter suckers should be
removed promptly until the mother-plant flowers, when one daughter sucker may be
allowed to take its place. The removal of dry leaves and useless pseudostems requires to
be done in time. After all the fruits are formed, the pendant portion of the remaining
inflorescence along with the heart should be removed.
The propping of plants with bamboo poles, especially those which have thrown
out bunches, is necessary wherever damage by wind is apprehended. Where the wind
damage is recurring, dwarf varieties should be preferred.
IRRIGATION : The banana-plants require very heavy irrigation. Irrigation is given in
most places once in seven to ten days. Stagnation of water in the soil is not very congenial
to the proper growth of banana and, hence, the drainage of soil is also essential.
HARVESTING : Early varieties commence flowering in southern and western India
about seven months after planting, and the fruits take about three months more to ripen.
In the Andhra Pradesh delta areas, the fruits are ready for harvesting about seven to eight
months after planting. The first crop of the ‘Poovan’ variety matures in 12 to 14 months
and the second in 21 to 24 months after planting. In other parts of India, the first crop is
usually gathered a year after planting, whereas the succeeding crop may be ready in six to
ten months thereafter.
The bunch is harvested just before it attains the ripening stage. When the fruits
have reached the full size, they become plump, and mature with a distinct change in
colour. For long transport, the bunch may be harvested somewhat earlier. The bunch is
cut retaining about 15 cm of the stem above the first hand. The yield varies considerably
from 26,000 to 55,000 kg per ha.
CURING AND MARKETING: The ripening of banana is done in several ways, eg.
Exposing the bunches to the sun, placing them over a hearth, wrapping them up in green
leaves and piling them in a heap, storing them in closed god owns or smoking them in
various ways. One of the common ways is to heap the fruits in a room and cover them
with leaves, after which fire is lit in a corner and the room is closed and made as air-tight
as possible. Ripening takes place usually in 30 to 48 hours. In a cool store, the bunches
ripen well at about 15° to 20°C. The application of Vaseline, a layer of clay or coal-tar to
the cut-ends of the stalks prevents rotting during ripening and storage.
Wrapping up the fruits and packing them in crates help to reduce the damage during
POST HARVEST HANDLING, STORAGE, PROCESING AND BYPRODUCT
Banana is an easily perishable fruit. During peak seasons of production. There is
glut in the market and fanners do not get remunerative price. In this homesteads, banana
is cultivated mainly for the consumption of the family as vegetable/fruit. The problem of
post harvest handling, storage and transport crisis mainly in commercial cultivation. It is'
noted generally that running transporting, damage occurs to the banana bunches. Further,
the bulky nature of the bunch, often with loosely packed fingers and sort nature of the,
little, create problems in hall. As such efficient and economic methods lacking green
fruits as well as fruits which have started ripening and ripe fruits are to be revised so that
damage is avoided/reduced to the barest minimum during handling and transport. Banana
to the Keralite, as elsewhere is a vegetable as well as a fruit appall t from hang used for
the preparation of various products. For the vegetables types it, will be desirable if the
greenness could be prolonged, without being rip:'l1ed to the extent possible whereas in
the case of dessert types Mol, shelf life after ripening will be advantageous. In the case of
home consumption, instead of ripening a bunch at a stretch as usual. a slow ripening, SJ
that the entire bunch is ripened] a period of time is on ripening and keeping quality with
these objectives in mind will be regarding. Utilizing banana in the form of different
products in small and commercial scales need to be stressed with special reference to that
fact that banana is expected generally as a subsidiary food crop. However to make banana
a commercial crop to the possible extent investigations on post harvest handling of fresh
fruits, ripe fruits, storage and the preparation of the various products now in vogues and
the development of new products have to be seriously considered. Nend J a71 chips and
other products and flour are of special mention at present in the Kerala context. Further
the effective utilization of other items such as the male bud} central core (Pindi),
rhizome, pseudostem, leaves etc. in a manner conducive of our Socio-economic
conditions, linking with our agro system has to be emphasized. The male bud central core
(of the inflorescence) and the rhizome of young suckers are being used as vegetable. The
use of the central core in Naturopathy is well known. The fiber extracted from the banana
pseudostem can be utilized in a variety of ways and its potential, appears to be enormous.
The banana leaf, generally used as a precious plate, Especially on auspicious occasions, is
another valuable part, which is also liable to damage during collection and transport. Any
means and Plethacs to reduce its breakage and damage and to improve keeping quality is
worthy of consideration.
In the context of the above points, the studies S0 far conducted on banana with reference
to post harvest handling, processing and byproduct utilization in Kerala will provide a
bas," for the correct orientation of future lines of work. The work done could be for the
sake of convenience categorized.
Handling of fresh fruits
It is a common experience that the banana fruits obtained from the market is
seldom free from damage. To a farmer with a bumber crop the problem of its handling
and transport to the market in its original form is a difficult task, often expensive. The
ways and means for easy and cheap methods of stacking and transport needs no special
mention. Whatever means of transport is adopted, it is most important that the fruit
should be gently handled and kept as cool as possible. Head pods made of wads of banana
trash are commonly used in Jamaica sponge rubber head and shoulder pads are used in
Central America. Stacking points, carts Lorries and railway trucks are lined with a
generous blanket of banana trash; layers of bunches are interspersed with trash. There are,
broadly, four means of preparation of bunches for long distance transport, Na’1lely; the
bunches being shipped naked; the use of plastic covering; the enclosure of the bunch in a
paper or straw parcel; and the packing of the fruit in boxes or cases. In India the produce
is mostly carried by rail and little or no attempt is made to control the temperature of
carriage. Refrigerated transport methods may be desirable for the safe transport of the
fruits to long distances.
Philip and Aravindakshan (1979) conducted studies on the post harvest
application of certain growth regulating substances like 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, IAA and NAA on
fruit quality of the banana cultivar 'Palayankodan'. The study revealed significant
variation among the treatments with regard to the quality indices like loss in weight on
ripening, TSS acidity, TSS/acid ratio, total sugars, reducing sugars and sugar lacid ratio.
Significant variations with regard to the above quality indices among the fruits of the first
four hands and the succeeding four hands of the same bunch were also noticed. Treat-
ments with 100 ppm IAA, 40 ppm and 60 ppm 2, 40 were found to increase acidity,
ascorbic acid and sugar content significantly over the control. TSS was significantly
higher in treatments with 40 ppm 2,4,5- T, 100 ppm NAA and 100 ppm IAA, whereas the
treatments with 2,4, 5- Tat 60 ppm, NAA at 50 ppm, 2,4-0 at 20 ppm and IAA at 100
ppm were found to be effective in reducing the acidity significantly over the control. IAA
at 100 ppm and 2,4-0 at 60 ppm increased sugar/acid ratio significantly. The TSS, acid
ratio was found to be influenced significantly by the growth regulator treatments.
The effect of pre and post harvest treatments on storage and quality of banana cv.
Nendran was studied by Aravindakshan (1981). Pre harvest spraying of Ethrel 4CO ppm,
2,4-D 10 ppm and NAA 50 ppm proponed the harvesting of banana by 20 days and this
resulted in better quality fruits.
The study revealed that ripe fruits for immediate use can be obtained within 3
days of harvest by smoke treatment for 24 hours and then storing in open. 'The quality of
the fruits were found to be better under smoke treatment arid open storage as compared to
fruits in polythene bags with or without K MNO2, in appearance of the ripened fruits was
best in polythene bag storage. The storage life of the fruits could be prolonged by 10 days
by storing under polythene + K MnO4 at ordinary room temperature. In polythene bags,
six days longer shelf life could be obtained. Anthracol at 0.05 per cent and 0.1% Bavistin
500 ppm and 1000 ppm, Thiride 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent were equally effective in
reducing anthracnose incidence in banana fruits stored in polythene bags and in open, the
maximum reduction being resulted by Bavistin 1000 ppm. Pre harvest spray or post
harvest dipping of fungicides reduced the incidence of black spot caused by
Gloeosporium musarum. Smoke treated fruits were found to have high incidence of
anthracnose and fruits stored in polythene bags + K MnO4 were found to have the least
incidence of the disease.
The effect of Waxol (fungicidal wax emulsion) on the shelf life of Nendran
banana fruits was studied and the results revealed that the storage life could be increased
by treating the fruits with 4% Waxol.
A comparative evaluation of different methods of ripening was conducted at the
Department of Processing Technology, College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara, Among the
various local methods tried, banana packed in cartons with paddy straw started ripening
early. It was found that irrespective of treatments, the percentage acidity after ripening
remained more or less the same.
For the culinary varieties, it will be of great advantage if the fresh green stage of
the fruit can be prolonged by delaying the ripening. Studies in this aspect are yet to be
At a very rough computation, nearly half the bananas of the world are eaten raw
and ripe, nearly half arc eaten as a cooked vegetable and the remainder (an almost
negligibly small proportion of the whole) are used for processing into various products.
A survey was undertaken (Prema and Chellammal, 1986) in Trivandrum district to find
out how the banana fruit is being utilized by the farm families. The survey revealed that
26 per cent of the families use Nendran fruits and 32 per cent use other varieties of
banana, 3 days in a week. ,Out of the 200 families, 78 per cent of the families use
Nendran and 98 percent use other varieties as a raw fruit. Regarding the method of
storage, most of the families used ventilated rooms in which bunches were hung. After
harvesting/purchasing most of the families use the fruits for a week. As far as processing
is concerned, around 75 per cent of the families process banana as jam. Drying the banana
fruits, particularly Nendran, is 'another method of processing adopted. The major
problems faced by the farm families during, the storage of processed fruits were fungal
growth and gas formation.
Banana is a rich source of nutrients. Padmaja and Koshy (1971) analyzed 20
different varieties of banana for protein and minerals like Phosphorus, Potassium,
Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese. The variety Mauritius contained the highest
amount of protein followed by Maa annan, Red banana and Robusla. Red banana and
Robusta were relatively rich in Phosphorus and Potassium. Nendran and Coonoor
Nendran were low in protein but richer in Calcium. Red banana contained the highest
quantity of Iron and Manganese.
One of the important uses of banana is in the preparation of fl6ur which fine's use
as a weaning food for babies and as a diluent in bread making. In Kerala, banana flour
prepared from fully matured banana especially Kunnan and Nendran varieties, is used as
a weaning food for babies from six months onwards. A study was carried out in the
Department of Processing Technology, College of Horticulture '(Anon. 1987) to find out
the variety most suited for preparing banana flour. For the preparation of banana flour,
fully matured banana just before ripening are to be selected. The peeled bananas are cut
into slices and blanched in 5 per cent <;'arch slurry for a few minutes and dried in
dehydrator and ground and sieved' in fine sieve (60 mesh). Panana flour prepared from
six common varieties in Kerala viz., Monthan, Kunran, Padathi, Palayankodan, Nendran
and Poovan were analysed for chemical composition and organoleptic qualities. The
results showed that an attractive coloured fine flour can be prepared and stored in
ordinary room conditions for more than one Year. Chemical analysis revealed that all the
varieties are rich in carbohydrate with a starch content ranging from 60 to 70 per cent. It
also contains fair amount of minerals and fat (0.3 to 3%). Sensory evaluation of banana
flour using the score card method was used to find out the most acceptable variety. A
porridge prepared with banana flour, sugar and milk revealed that Nendran is better than
all the other varieties for quality factors such as appearance and texture. For flavour
Padathi got the maximum score and for taste, Kunnan was better than the other varieties.
Out of the total score for different quality factors, Nendran got the highest total score and
Fadathi and Kunnan got the second and third respectively.
Two formulae were standardised in the Department of ProceFsing Technology,
College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara (Anon, 1987) to improve the nutritional value of
traditionally used banana flour by adding pulses and cereals to form a cheap and
nutritious weaning food. Based on the IS! Standards. To supply the minimum of 10 per
cent protein from the baby food, pulses such as green grain, soybean and cowpea were
blended with banana flour and thirteen formulae were tested. All the thirteen formulae
were tested for acceptability after making 15 per cent slurry in water and addition of sugar
at 15 per cent. Out of these, five were selected for detailed analytical studies. The
chemical compositions of the formulae are as follows:
Simple formulae M o i s t u r e Ash (g) Fat (g) Protein (g) Carbohydrate (g)
A 7.0 4.6 1.0 12.8 74.8
B 7.0 4.0 4.0 12.4 71.6
C 7.0 4.6 2.9 11.5 74.0
D 7.0 4.5 4.0 11.9 73.3
E 6.8 4.6 2.4 10.5 76.1
Banana flour 7.0 2.5 3.0 2.6 87.9
Eased on the feeding trial on rats, the formulae A and D were finally selected for
feeding trials on babies between the age group of six months to one year. The preliminary
trial on babies showed that the weight gain ranged from 4CO gram to one kilogram in one
month and this gain was much higher than the weight gain recorded on babies fed with
banana flour and milk alone. Soybean-banana flour mixture with Protein Efficiency Ratio
more than 2.3 was found to be most effective. The 1.:S3 of banana flour as watering food
will introduce novelty and variety to food products, especially when it is used along with
cereal and pulse flour. Commercial production of banana flour in different formulations
and forms can find scope in food technology; especially in this era of fast foods.
Singh (1983) conducted dehydration, packing and storage studies in banana fruit.
Nendran fruits which were just ripe were selected and the fingers were hand peeled and
sliced with a stainless steel knife. The thickness of the slices was maintained at (l range of
2.5 to 3.5 mm. These slices were treated with 2000 ppm potassium metabisulphite
solution for two hours and then dried. Mechanical drying was found to be more
satisfactory than sundrying. After 87 hours of mechanical drying, the moisture came
down to satisfactory levels. The dried fruits were packed in powder form and as chips.
The packing materials influenced the keeping quality. The fruit materials packed in craft
paper bags, butter paper bags, polythene bags and polypropylene bags and open storage
conditions were found to be quite unsatisfactory, as there was serious quality deterio-
ration due to fermentation which started 50 days after storage. Storage inside a steel trunk
proved effective. The effects of packing materials on the chemical constituents of the
product were analyzed. A minimum change in moisture content from zero storage
conditions were noticed in polythene, and polypropylene bags. The TSS content of the
fruit products increased in storage, with those stored in polypropylene and polythene
bags, recording minimum change. The TSS content after 190 days of storage was
recorded as 39 per cent in craft paper bags, while the polypropylene stored samples
recorded 37.4 per cent only. The total sugar also indicated a gradual increase with storage.
The maximum change from initial level of 17.49 per cent was observed when craft paper
was used for storage (25.88 per cent) and minimum changes when polypropylene baas
were used (24.15 per cent). The highest increase in reducing sugar was also observed
when craft paper was used. The terrible acidity decreased with storage. The lowest
terrible acidity was recorded from those stored in craft paper while the least changes in
acidity was noted in polypropylene bags. Reconstitution of the dehydrated product was
done by soaking 50 gram sample sin 250 ml boiled sugar syrup of different
concentrations, for 30 minutes and then the syrups were drained off. The ideal syrup
strength for reconstituting the fruit materials stored as dried chips was 25 per cent.
Organoleptic tests for the products stored as ships indicated that these stored in craft
paper bags remained acceptable up to 70 days, up to 110 days in butter paper bags and
upto 170 days in polythene and polypropylene bags at room temperature. Th8 banana
powder Via organoleptically evaluated as a preparation locally called "payasan"
containing jiggery, coconut milk, Spices etc. The powder remained good up to 80 days in
craft paper bags and up to 110 days in butter paper bags. Banana powder stored in
polythene and polypropylene retained quality even after 190 days.
Banana does not give clear juice. An observational trial to clarify banana juice in
the Department of Processing Technology, College of Horticulture, showed that treatment
with an enzyme Pectic Methyl Esterase at pH 4.0 and temperature around 40" C was
effective in clarifying the juice.
A survey conducted in Trivandrum district (Prerra and Cheliammal, 1936) revealed that
the farm varieties were not in the habit of processing fruits in scientific ways. Hence a
study was undertaken and the following recipes were standardized in the Department of
Home Science, College of Agriculture, Vellayani.
Banana sweet meat
The following ingredients are required for the preparation of banana sweet meat.
Banana pulp -I kg, sugar- 1 kg, ghee and dalda-50 g. Cut the ripe Nendran banana into
small cubes of 0.5" thickness. Boil the fruit with 200 m! water in 10 minutes and mash it.
Add sugar and cook in low flame for 30 minutes. Stir constantly till the product becomes'
dark brown in color. Add fat at this store and mix well. Remove from fire and after
cooling make into s11all balls and roll in powdered sugar. The product can be stored in
airtight glass jars for 32 days at room temperature.
Palayankodan is a popular variety in Kerala. , A common problem faced by the
farm families is that all the fruits in a bunch will ripe at the same time and this results in
wastage of fruits. Hence , the preparation of a jelly was standardized for the proper
Varieties grown in Karnataka Robusts, Lal Velchi, Safed Velchi Red
Banana, Grand Naine, Cavendish
Area under crop in Karnataka 52560 ha
Production in Karnataka 1289863 tons
Availability Thorough out the year
Export to UAE, Gulf countries
Variety in demand internationally Grand Naine, Cavendish
EXPORT SPECIFICATION FOR BANANA
Variety Grand Naine Colour : Green
Cavendish Wt of Bunch : 2.5 kg
Packing 13 kg
Storage temperature 13-14°C
Transport By Sea
Banana is one of the most important major fruit crop grown in India. It ranks
second next to mango with respect to area and production The name banana is originated
from Mica. In India it is called by different names viz., plantain, Yazhai, Kela, Kadali,
Bale, Arati. etc., Banana is cheapest and favourite fruit and is predominant and popular
among people. India is second largest banana producing country in the world. It is grown
in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam. Bengal, Karnataka, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
USES OF BANANA
Banana plant is multipurpose herb which is used for various purposes,. ]1 is used
as food, medicine, feed and industrial application. All parts of plant is edible viz., fruit,
flower, stem. It is used someway or other. In South India, though hundreds of varieties are
existing, only few are commercially cultivated. The fruits are used for dessert purposes as
well as culinary purposes. The varieties like Poovan, Rasthari, Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish
are grown for table purpose. In India, Nendran is grown for table purpose and mainly for
making chips. The plantain fruit hills different shape and varies in size from very large
giant varieties to the finger like bananas. Colors of banana ranges from green, light to
deep yellow, orange red, spotted and brown. All bananas have a typical f1avour, taste
differs widely from variety to variety. In South India, no festive decorations I complete
unless the entrance gates are decorated with full grown banana plants. In all auspicious
occasions banana has got important place for table purpose and as an offering to god.
Fruit is considered as "sacred" in pooja. Male buds of banana, tender stems are used as
vegetable. The developing corm of suckers are rich in carbohydrates are used in different
curry preparations and poor class people use as vegetable in their diet by mixing with
pulses. Banana leaves are widely used as eating plates. The dried leaves are used for cup
and hat making by small scale industries, the pseudos tern is used in paper manufacturing.
The dried leaf sheaths I is excellent source of fibre and used for making cloth, rope and
The fruit contains fairly good amount of vit. B and vit. C and other essential
minerals. Ripe fruits are mild laxative and useful in constipation. It also combats
diarrhoea & dysentery and heals intestinal lesions. Mashed ripe fruit with milk and sugar
is excellent weaning food for children. Gruel prepared from banana flour is used as infant
food. Banana powder is rich in starch and can be used with other cereals powder for
various preparations like chapatti, roti, bakery products to increase nutritive value of diet.
Banana arc also used in salad dishes, ice creams and milkshakes.
VALUE ADDITION IN BANANA
Plantains are an all season fruits and are available in plenty. These fruits are
wasted due to Jack of transportation and storage facilities. This can be overcome by
processing and value addition to fruits. The processing & value addition to fruits
increases returns to growers and can overcome price fluctuations. The various processed
products of banana are banana figs, juice, banana powder, flour, starch, stem candy, jam,
chips and fermented products like brandy, beer and ethanol. Some of the procedures of
preparing banana products are enlisted below.
Take any variety of ripe banana remove skin and slice crosswise with, a stainless
steel knife as ordinary knife, causes black stain 011 the slices Immerse in sodium bi
carbonate solution (half tea spoon sodium bi carbonate in 2 liters of water) then drain
solution and spread on trays and keep in sulphuring box and expose to sulphur -di- oxide
for one hour.
Later dry them ill sun every day, turning the sides till they are well dried. Home
drier can also be used for drying at 60 degrees for 29 hours.
Fully matured but unripe fruit of any variety with the minimum sugar content has
to be selected. It should be cleaned, peeled and slices cross wise about 3 mm thickness
with a stainless steel knife. Then soak the slices in a preservative solution containing 0.1
% citric acid or tartaric acid; 0.05% , or Hydrochloric acid or 0.1% potassium
metabisulphite to avoid browning, then remove slices from solution wash them in cold
water, drain and spread on trays. Keep the trays in box where fruit slices are exposed to
sulphur dioxide for one hour. Sulphuring helps to keep the products for long duration.
Dry the sulphured slices cither in the sun or in a home drier at 60 deg Celsius. Then fried
chips should be stored in airtight container.
BANANA STEM CANDY
Select the stem that has already yielded a crop of mature bananas. Remove the
outer sheath ar1d cut then into circular slices of % inches thick. Soak these slices in
solution prepared by adding ½ tea spoonful potassium metabisulphite and one teaspoon
citric acid in 2 liters of water to retain good color of candy and prevents discoloration.
Boil the slices and cool then puncture lightly all over the slices with a fork. Take 3 kg of
sugar and put alternate layers of sugar and slices keep it for one night. Then next day
syrup will be produced than add one more kg of sugar and heat till a single thread
consistency is obtained. Again keep it for overnight and next day add one kg of sugar to it
and boil till consistency is obtained. Then strain of the syrup. Then candy pieces are
Unripe fruits are used to prepare flour. Peel the skin, cut into pieces and dry in
home drier/drum drier and grind into flour. Then sieve the powder and store in airtight
container or polyethylene bags. The final product should contain 8% moisture. This can
be added for in preparation of chapathis rotis, bakery produces to increase nutritive value.
Fully ripe plantains are used to prepare powder. Riped fruit pulp should be made
into paste by drying in dryers at 60°C after drying the products is free flowing with odor
and flavor of fresh fruit. The powder should be packed in airtight container. This product
can be used as weaning food for children.
List of microorganisms causing common post-harvest diseases of banana
Absidia corymbifera Dark-brown lesion appears on the surface
of the fruit, followed by softening of the
Alternaria alternata [A. tenuis] Brown circular spots increase and the
lesions extend to the pulp in ripe fruits.
Crown-rot. Fruit rot. Disease starts as
Botryodiplodia theobromae [Diplodia brown water-soaked lesions, usually at
natalensis] either end of the finger. Rot advances as
dark-brown lesions with irregular mar~in.
At later stage the pulp becomes soft and
Thielaivopsis-rot. Crown-rot. Stalk-rot.
Ceratocystis paradoxa [Thielaviopsis] Dark-brown lesion starts from the stalk-
end. At later stage the skin becomes
wrinkled and the pulp turns brown.
Water-soaked discolouration of the peel at
the staylar-end spreads upwards and turns
Chaetosphaeropsis truncata var indica black. At later stage the pulp becomes soft
Sooty blotch of fruits.
Sooty moulds. Small dark-brown flecks
Cladosporium spp. increase in size, merge, turn into
Yellowish-brown spots grow and turn
Cochliobolus spicifer [Drechslera] dark-brown. As the lesions increase,
softening of the infected tissue occurs.
Crown-rot. Light-brown rot turns dark
Colletotrichum musae [ Gloeosporium brown and extends to the fingers. Fruit-
musarum] spot. Fruit-rot. Circular light-brown spots
enlarge and coalesce to form larger dark-
brown spots. The lesions invade the pulp
at later stage.
Curvularia senegalensi$ Clearly demarcated slightly sunken brown
spots. At later stage the spots turn black.
Tip-rot. Dark-coloured spot starts from
Deightoniella torulosa the tip end and proceeds upwards. finally
turning greyish in colour.
Fruit-speckle. Dark-coloured spot on the
finger. grows longitudinally assuming
greyish colour. Often the skin develops
longitudinal splits exposing the pulp.
Brown to dark-brown spots with dark-
coloured irregular margins.
Circular or elongated dark-brown spots
increase in size. At later soft stage the
Epicoccum nigrum Black-heart disease. A dark-brown rot
extends longitudinally through the pulp of
the fruit. At later stage the whole fruit
turns brown and becomes soft.
Fusarium equiseti Symptoms similar to those caused by F
Diamond-spot. A small. raised, yellow
Fusarium moniliforme [= Gibberel/a blemish incrertses and develops rt longi-
fujikuroJ] tudinal crack, widi;)ning at the centre and
Usually associated with crown-rot. But
can also infect fruit. Discoloured spot
appears on the fruit, later turning brown as
the lesion increases.
Fusarium oxysporum Symptoms similar to those caused by F
Gliomastix musicola Light-brown spots having irregular
margins grown and coalesce, and later
turn dark brown
Macrophoma musae Brown specks on fruits
Nigrospora cryzae Squirter disease. Brown fruit rot
Penicillium citricolum Light-brown water soaked spots. At later
stage lesion becomes soft and infected
tissue releases watery exudates.
Phoma herbarum Dark-brown spots with irregular margins.
At later stage the lesions coalesce
Phytophthora nicotinae var parasitica Soft rot. Discoloured spot increases in
size and turns light-brown. At later stage
mycelial overgrowth may appear
Popularia sphaerosperma Dark-brown fruit spots
Rhizopus stolanifer Pitting disease. Brown fruit spots
Pyricularia grisea scattered on the skin of the fruits
Rhizopus stolonifer Fruit rot. Brown lesions with irregular
(R. nigricans) margins increase and invade the fruit. At
later stage aerial mycelium with
sporangiophores cover the surface, the
fruit softens and exudates fermented juice
and emits foul odour
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Brown=coloured rot spreads from the
(w = Whetzelinia sclerotiorum) distal to the proximal end of the fruit. At
later stage the whole fruit rots
Stachybotris bisbyI Light brown spots with irregular margins,
later turn on into dark brown lesions
Trichothecium Pink-mould disease. Brown fruit spots
enlarge and get covered with pink mould
growth. The rot is superficial and does not
extend deep into the pulp.
Verticillium theobromae Crown rot.
Cigar-end rot of fruit
Fruit rot. Usually starts from the tip and
extends upwards. A fawn-coloured rot, at
later stage produces a dry rot of the pulp.
POST-HARVEST DISEASES OF BANANA AND THEIR CONTROL
Handling of banana fruits envisages a great deal of knowledge, efforts and closely
organized activities. Starting from harvest in the form of banana bunch wastage is
inevitable if the slightest degree of negligence occurs at any step of handling the fruit
(Ward law, 1930). The operations like towing, packing, chilling, transport storage or
ripening, curing and finally marketing are important steps that need care to avoid
incidences of post-harvest diseases including rots. Banana industry particularly in the
tropics has not made desired progress in the field of post-harvest technology, in absence
of which banana production as well as marketing has acquired erratic trends. The
post-harvest diseases and rots play an important role, n the whole process. Salient points
connected with this aspect need particular mention.
After harvest banana bunches are arranged in rows with the cut ends of pedicel
upward, called stowing. Stowing is required at two stages. Soon after harvest, the bunches
are stowed in the field usually over a bed of banana leaves. Before a carriage arrives,
harvested bunches continue to remain stowed in this condition which pave way to spread
of inoculum to healthy sites. During transport and at the wholesalers god own the bunches
are again stowed before sending them to ripening room. During stowing the fruits are
invariably subjected to mechanical or insect injury in addition to the spread of pathogens
carried from field in latent condition or prevalent under local condition of storage
(McGuire, 1932; Baker et al., 1937; Chin, 1967).
Bunches are arranged in bulk either packed or protected by skillful means
including packing. Both elaborate and simple packing is needed as the banana fruits are
transported through long distances as well as short distances locally. The bunches are
protected fr0f"!1 damage due to contact by placing pads or preventing layer which is
inserted in between the hands so as to check their breakage and rubbing during movement
in transit. Banana leaves are commonly used for packing for local movement and papers
are used for packing for export or long distances (Wardlaw, 1930). Before packing for
export, fruits are treated with chemicals to prevent storage rots. Care should be taken to
ensue re that there is no infringement of the tolerance regulations of the importing
country. In certain cases, banana fruits are wrapped singly in double stout paper to
prevent injury and infection.
For sea voyages where longer duration and higher temperatures are involved,
green fruits are usually subjected to a very low temperature, i.e. below zero degree
Celsius. The fruits become stiff and hard. This chilling delays fruit maturity, at the same
time it checks the development and further spread of pathogens carried as latent infection.
Otherwise WH! 3n unchilled fruits are taken out in the warm dry air they possess poor
appearance. When peeled the internal fiber exhibits discoloration and anatomical
deviations. Chilled fruits readily show finger marks while handling and develop.
Discolored bruises at points of contact with packing, material. Characteristic smoky
appearances with dark green water soaked blemishes also develop due to excessive
oxidation. Other chilling injuries include failure of ripening, hardening of pith, dull
appearance of skin, sooty yellow color of the peel with dark mottling with green as well
as hard ripeness (Wardlaw & McGuire, 1931).
Banana fruit being fragile and susceptible at ripening has got to be transported
within a shortest possible time. Particularly, the banana grown in the tropical or
sub-tropical regions is more prone for damages due to secondary invaders in addition to
the latent one. Long distance transport has to be undertaken with skillful handling and
expertise before they are made available to the consumers. In absence of it, not only the
bunches are open to bruising that provides on roads for fungal infection, but enhances the
chances of wastage and rotting. Banana transported under refrigerated containers although
comparative :} safe involve economic factors not-feasible to local growers. Bruising is
unavoidable in case of green as well as ripe banana fruits and thus liable to more or less
severe damage from compression and abrasion during transport. The sap oozing from
such injured, a brazed or compressed green fruits is soon covered by fungal invasion.
Both rail and road transport for banana is common where rail wagons or trucks are
loaded with banana bunches. Prior to loading, bottom and sides of the carriage is lined
with banana leaves. The consignment is then covered with banana leaves in order to save
from weather hazards. While loading, the bunches are kept horizontally to adjust about
7-8 thousand bunches in rail wagon and 2-3 thousand bunches in trucks. For short dura-
tion transport, banana leaf packing is sometimes avoided. The unloading of fruits from
the carriage is again an important factor that matters much in affecting post-harvest rots
in store houses. As soon as the wagon or truck reaches the destination, unloading is done
by manual labor. The injury and delay caused in this operation is important in affecting
the incidence of storage diseases and deterioration of fruit quality.
The process of ripening of banana fruit needs skilled techniques. According to the
stage of fruit on arrival at the curing point the fruit is subjected to temperature and smoke
treatment in special rooms constructed for the purpose. Van Loesecke (1949) has
emphasized, the role of temperature varying from 22-30°C, relative humidity supply of
gases like ethylene, acetylene, ammonia and ozone. Sulphur dioxide used in some cases
causes darkening and discoloration of skin without affecting pulp. Smoke treatment for
the duration varying from 8 to 24 hours is a common method of curing banana fruits in
special rooms or store houses.
Sometimes, the ripe bananas, though of good appearance have poor flavor and
keeping quality. This happens under very high temperature. The loss in appearance also
affects marketing, both at wholesale and retail points. This remains problematic,
particularly when the pathogen gets associated with fruits from the sources itself. Thus,
measures suitable for safe marketing of banana fruits become the first priority.
Operations like sorting, drying, cooling and heating are practiced under abnormal
situations and climatic adversities in order to reduce losses due to storage rots and quality
depletion. Sorting out bruised, damaged or softer fruits from the bunch becomes
necessary in cases of ill handling or problematic transportation. When carriages loaded
with banana fruits are met with heavy rains the bunches have got to be stowed outside the
ripening room till the fruits are free from extra moisture. Similarly, overnight cooling and
sunlight exposure becomes unavoidable when the fruits are transported under excessive
warm and cool weather respectively. Such operations, not only ensure safe ripening but
help in reducing storage losses and rots.
TYPES OF POST-HARVEST DISEASES
Main-stalk rot, also known as stem end rot or soft stem rot occurs mainly due to
infection of the sappy cut ends of the main stalk of the bunch and rapid establishment of
certain fungi during voyages of long duration of 14-18 hours favored by most suitable
weather conditions. Infective microorganisms accompany the harvested lot from
plantation site itself or present in air and leaf debris. The exudation spreading over the
surface of main stalk attracts member by providing moisture as well as nutrition for the
microorganisms Voyages provide conditions of high humidity and temperature that help
the parasite in penetrating into the tissues resulting in fruit rot. If the duration of voyage is
extended or the bulk of fruits is left as such, the rotting extends to the cushions. Fresh
infection or cushions at the point of injury or scarring also takes place in healthy bunches.
Cushion Infection or Crown Rot
In order to give strength to the fruits of the bunch, the individual hands are cut
deep from the bunch, this gives a thick and broad projection called cushion. The cut end
gives rise to profuse oozing which attracts pathogens from air or those harbored by
mother plant as well as in the form of latent infection. The infection of the cushion is
initiated in the form of limited spotting, blemishes or extensive rotting extending to the
finger-stalks and fingers. Localized infection of individual finger stalk leads to infection
of finger itself.
Subsequent upon the deep rotting of cushions, pits in the thick portions of cushion
and main stalk are formed particularly under dry weather conditions. Even the fresh
infections under high humidity permit deep rotting of thick portions of the bunch which
eventually develop into pit formation' and weakening of the finger stalks. In early stages,
the pits and spots are ·usually localized in distribution and occur chiefly on scarred and
exposed portions. The color of pits ranges from brown to black depending upon the
variety and storage conditions. As fresh infection at a secondary stage. The disease begins
as small reddish spots on the skin of green fruit which is approaching maturity. Typical
shallow black pits measuring about 0.6 mm in diameter occur abundantly on uppermost
hands first, and then spread to others also. The disease is also severe on fruits of standing
crop. In pits, the slow growing greyish mycelium of Pyricularia griseus is usually
overgrown by secondary fungi that include Glomerella cingulata, Acrothecium lunatum,
Stochylidium theobromae, Pestalozsia lepoorgena, Nigrospora oryzae, Papularia
sphaerasperma, Fusarium sambucinum and Clasterosporium mayaicum. The infection is
usually established in immature fruits in the plantation itself forming localized small
sunken spots. Slowly, the hyphae tend to penetrate deeply into underlying tissue. At this
stage portions nearing the finger stalks are invaded by secondary fungi that soon lead to
finger dropping. Once the pits appear the application of fungicide remains ineffective in
controlling the disease. However, sanitation, saving fruits from scarring and sun
scorching help in avoiding infection.
Finger-dropping and scarring
Mechanical injury enables latent pathogen to penetrate the epidermis of finger and
initiate rotting of finger stalk that leads to finger dropping. It is more common in large
bottom hands and less in small uppermost hands. In absence of support, the fingers of the
bottom hands bent inward and the bending portion act as a seat of infection (Soni, 1984).
Mass of black watery gray growth on the surface leads to rotting of finger stalks. The dis-
ease becomes more severe in ripening rooms if the infection is carried from field (Leach,
1959). Due to finger-rot or finger-stalk rot, the handling of banana becomes difficult as
the fingers of entire hand are detached easily. Since the wounds and bruises remain
unavoidable during handling the infection is invariably occurring during storage due to
G/omere//a musarum, Botryodip/oidia theobromae, species of Fusarium and Verticillium
etc. Only the aggressive fungi are established in the main stalk and spread through the
cushion. Therefore, fungicidal treatment and avoiding delay in ripening minimises the
chances of finger rots.
Scarring of green as well as ripe banana fruits is again an unavoidable problem
giving rise to a variety of wastage, particularly in large bottom hands. Weight of super
imposed bunches causes abrasion at each step of handling banana fruits which may also
result in twisting and even breaking of individual finger. Frost injury in the form of dark
green water soaked areas formed on fruit skin initiate loci of infection during storage. In
packed consignments, loosely stowed fruits are more prone to scarring as well as
infection by a variety of latent inocula.
Due to the development of latent infections or other mechanical injury several rot
producing fungi like Botryodip/oidia theobromae, Ceretocystis paradoxa and
G/oeosporium musarum present on stored bananas or the leaves cause fresh infections on
fruit-skin developing in rot under storage conditions with high humidity and temperature.
These organisms put blemishes within 36 hours of harvest (Soni, 1984). Such fruits need
chilling if it is to ,be saved from rots. Subsequent upon unloading from transport carriage,
the green fruits when subjected to ripening process in special rooms or ripening rooms,
suffer from diseases categorized as rots and spots during or after storage. Damage is in
the form of3xtended browning of the skin or patches covering whole or part of the fruit
surface. The corresponding pulp is also softened under 65 to 80 per cent humidity.
Humidity enhances rotting. Amongst the more common rots is that caused by
Botryodip/oidia theobromae which is established soon before the produce is shifted to the
holds. During extended storage, more rotting is caused even at low temperatures
(Wardlaw, 1937). The p3.thogen is initially present at the tip immediately below the
perianth or style, spreads uniformly along the fruit causing a progressive brownish black
discoloration and softening of the pulp. In fruits approaching maturity, two thirds or even
the whole of the finger is affected. Flesh becomes pulpy and finally semi-liquid with
sweetish odour. Skin becoming soft, black and wrinkled encrusted with pycnidia.
Extensive decay near wounded and blemished areas takes place. The pathogen penetrates
through the middle lamella. The filamentous, slender, stout hyphae are usually found in
the vicinity of stomata and aggregation around constitutes the primordia from which
pycnidia, are formed. Pycnidia are regular, round, flask shaped structures formed
separately or in groups situated superficially or only slightly immersed. Pycnidium has a
short straight neck or ostiole, dark carbonized outer wall and measure 250-300 ~ in size.
Conidia, formed on short conidiophores are accompanied by paraphyses. Conidia are
brown uniseptate, striated and unconstricted measuring 25 x 15 µ (Wardlaw & McGuire,
Ceretocystis paradoxa is another major cause of banana wastage (Andrade et al.,
1956), which is called black-head disease or cushion rot or crown rot. The rot exhibits
symptoms like finger dropping, blackened and softened tissue with characteristic sweetish
odour. The fungus grows out of epidermis and forms cob-web like mass of dark coloured
mycelium. It also induces premature ripening and rotting of main stalk in the proximity of
hand while the fruits are still unripe (Wardlaw, 1961). Then the fungus ad· vances
through cushion to the finger stalk and then to fingers. Dark brown septate hypha give
rise to furedic long tubular conidiophore bearing conidia of various shapes, from
cylindrical, ovate, to globose. The conidia are echinulate, thick walled and dark brown
with opaque outer, wall, very large in size measuring 25-40 µ. Perithecia from
heterothalic mycelium are formed on dead ends which are long, tubular with long neck
and fimbriate at the top. ASCII are ovate containing dark colou red ascospores.
Gloeosporium musarum Cooke and Massee (Glomerella cingulata) the main causal factor
of cushion infection and crown rot also attacks the finger at ripening stage causing brown
rot or ripe fruit rot in storage (Agati, 1922). It also causes localized infection of main
stalk, finger stalk as latent infection. Initially, sunken dark centre develop all fruits which
later spread and cause rot. At temperature nearing 30DC, the mycelium sporulate in
hyphomycetous fashion forming thin walled conidia that measure 16-30 ~ x 3-4 IJ (Soni,
1984). Due to high cellulose degrading capacity the fungus causes extensive wastage in
storage. The fungus also causes tip rot in ripening rooms when the fruits start turning
yellow. This infection originates in the decayed perianth and spreads slowly backward
along the fruit for 2 em or more. Affected tips become dark in color with a gradual
transition through watery looking greenish brown margin (Tomkins, '1931; Chakravarty,
1957; Leach, 1959). Flesh is slowly penetrated bYI the hyphae and finally reduced to a
moist disintegrated pulpy mass. Later the brownish black skin is covered with acervuli of
dark red colour. Quite often the infection remains latent on the green immatul'e fruits in
the field. But the manifestation of the disease takes place at the time of ripening, Varietal
susceptibility plays a prominent role and different strains of the pathogen also make a
range of symptoms in relation to pathogenicity (Laubert, 1910). A biological form of G.
musarum var, importatum identical to G. fructigenum f. sp. americana has been described
to produce blackening of skin followed by appearance of pink, salmon or orange coloured
acervuli. The hyphae accumulating in the vicinity of epidermal tissues below the cuticle
give rise to sporophorels.
Other Fruit Diseases
Preparing fruits for marketing forms another part of banana processing that
involves major wastage. At this stage, individual hands or fingers are usually separated
from the bunch and shifted to the ripening rooms. The injury in cut ends and the
conditions of high temperature and humidity in the ripening rooms make the conditions
favourable for secondary infection. Hence, the smoke treatment and use of disinfectants
become necessary. Suitable conditions. of ripening room favor the development of
mycoflora, both from latent infection as well as surface contamination that have been
found to cause enormous wastage, particularly in the tropics. The major components of
wastage may be in the form of fruit rot, spotting diseases and miscellaneous infections.
Khare & Dhingra (1982) have reported three types of fruit rots occurring in Madhya
Pradesh (India). The pathogens described include Verticil/ium theobromae,
Cephalosporium roseum a0d Phoma jolyana causing cigur-end rot, tip rot or scab and
fruit splitting, respectively. Tip rot or scab and fruit splitting (P jolyana) were observed
for the first time in India.
Tip rot caused by Fusarium sambucinum (F. discolor) occurs at ripening stage.
Dark, watery zones are initially formed around the distal end of the finger. Discolouration
of skin spreads slowly along the fruit over a length of 2-5 cm. Later, dark sooty growth of
pink mycelium develops near the distal end and the pulp inside becomes semi-liquid in
consistency. The fungus sporulates profusely forming fusiform, falcate, curved conidia,
slightly bent at both ends and constricted at the apex with pedicillate base. Smaller
conidia developing mostly on sporodochia and pion notes are of whitish yellow to pale
shades. Later the colour of stroma becomes brown or ochraceous containning conidia
with 3-5 septa and measure 27 IJ x 4.7 µ.
Botryodiploidia theobromae tip rot in ripening room constitutes the major
problem of banana storage particularly at temperatures between 25-350C. At higher
temperature of 40°C, the pathogen is able to cause extensive damage (Soni, 1984). The rot
increases when the fruits are covered with banana leaves during curing operation.
Deightoneilla tip rot (0. torulosa) appears in the ripening-room when the fruit is turning
yellow. The disease originates in the decayed perianth and spreads slowly backwards. The
affected tips become dark in color with a gradual transition through a watery, greenish
brown margin over the normal healthy yellow skin. The flesh is slowly affected turning to
a pulpy mass at the end. The skin becomes brownish-black, covered with acervuli of
dark-brick red color. Under high temperature and humidity conditions the tip rot in local
varieties is more important (Sony, 1984).
Tip rot caused by Botryodiploidia theobromae develops fast and soon covers the
whole fruit under humid conditions of ripening room. Black discolouration by formation
of pycnidia near the distal end surrounds the whole tip portion which later spreads
upward involving the whole skin. Skin turning black and encrusted. Greater amount of
wastage is sustained by susceptible varieties. Production of polygalacturonase and pectin
methyl esterase enzymes at higher rates has been recorded during such pathogenesis
The disease develops from infection at the time, the bunches are cut into single
fruits. It causes more damage to consignments which are transported to very long
distances. In other cases the disease also affects fruits during transport and ripening. Both,
internal as well as external symptoms are common but the disease is not detected in green
fruits until ripening. Coloring of fruit skin from green to faint yellow or bluish tinge is
common after the fruits are removed from the ripening room. The retailers or sometimes
consumers are main losers. More disease occurs when the fruits are packed singly. The
disease is more or less confined to the winter months. Initially, the disease can be seen as
dark core or a broken line of dark-red gum like substance along the centre or near the
perianth end. The fruit becomes soft. The flesh is finally transformed into a mushy liquid
which squirts out at the base when slight pressure is applied. The disease is caused by the
fungus Nigrospora usae (N. sphaerica) which produces submerged cottony white
mycelium, later turning brown. Initially, light brown conidia are borne in mass or clusters
of conidiophore that help in secondary spread during ripening.
Spots of various types, small or big, physiologic or parasitic have economic
significance as they lower the market value. The problem becomes more acute during
tropical weather where the spots develop into rot and cause wastage.
These spots appear in maturing fruit identified as yellow raised areas measuring
upto 5 mm in diameter. The causal fungus (Cercospora hay!) gets association from the
plantation itself. Tissues of the spots are exposed and become necrotic extending upto 1.5
cm width. The disease becomes severe during shipping or ripening. Oeightoniella
torulosa causes speckle or swam spots, black tip, or pin spots resulting in fruit spotting
with reddish brown to black colour and dark green halo around each spot. The disease is
common during fruit storage and may continue upto ripening or marketing if the fruits are
not properly disinfested. Pyricularia grisea causes spots (Johnson spot) that begin small
reddish area on the skin. Later, this develops into typical shallow black pits. The infection
acquired from infected cushions and these pits comprise the initial stage of the disease
which soon converts into rotting during ripening. Black scab like fruit spot caused by O.
torulosa has been reported to occur on banana fruits which are still green (Meredih,
1961). Gleosporium musarum an incitant of fruit spots causes small or big spots in
different banana varieties. Slightly sunken brown spots develop into rots during storage
and act as source of primary inoculum. Under moist air, Oidium lactis f. musarum, causes
brown to black spots on green or half ripe fruits which later develop into rots. Oidia
formed cause the source of secondary spread (Beczi, 1932). Fruit rot originating from
circular spots is caused by Trachysphaera fructigena on ripening fruit that results in
wastage and loss (Meredith, 1961). Pestalozzia leprogena speg forming large orbicular
spots with irregularly broadened leathery areas is also reported on some varieties.
Some of the varieties are prone for developing regular spotting pattern called
chilli on fruits. The characteristics are usually associated with thin skinned fruits. The
keeping quality of such fruits is limited particularly during hot weather. Spots usually
coalesce and large blemishes formed affect the keeping quality of fruits. Warm summer
conditions also result in green ripeness followed by abnormalities like softer pulp, half
ripe fruit, bright yellow color resulting in poor fruit quality. Hard ripeness also takes place
due climatic I variations when the fruits develop dull color but totally hard with firm flesh
just like immature fruit.
Pre-mature Ripening and Spatting
Some of the varieties under the cover of adverse weather and soil factors develop
yellowing of skin with different spots and line pattern during storage and ripening
process. Such fruits usually remain unfit for marketing or fetch low market price.
Mechanical injury particularly in large consignments during transport or long voyage and
in the lower most tiers of fruits tend to develop coloration where yellowing is
predominant if the injury escapes infection. In addition to it, splitting, cragking, twisting,
wrenching-off of hand· and breaking of fruits .constitute abormalities that make the fruit
unfit for marketing. Such injuries mostly find seat for secondary invaders which are
present in the air. Mycosphaerella musae attacks such fruits resulting in premature
ripening during transit. Aspergillus wentii Wehmer forming yellowish white mycelium on
fruits make them unfit for selling.
Fruits affected by frost fail to attain full ripening even after prolonged smoke
treatment in the ripening room (Keshwal & Khare, 1984). The uppermost hands of the
bunch which is still hanging on the plant sustains frost injury during severe cold winter.
The skin of such fruits become yellow but the pulp remains hard when they are taken out
of ripening room. Some of them may attain half ripening but the taste becomes abnormal.
CONTROL OF POST-HARVEST BANANA DISEASES
Control of post-harvest diseases of banana has got to be initiated at all the stages
of banana handling. Specialized preventive measures may be required for checking
infection during storage, packing, transport storage and ripening. More specific treatment
may be necessary during storage and ripening in order to save wastage.
Baker & Wardlaw (1937) have emphasized the role of infection in plantation
becoming latent that results in wastage of post-harvest bulk. This necessitates fungicidal
spray just before harvesting with benzimidazol in the form of benomyl 20-40g a.i. or
thiabendazol 200-400 g a.i. per litre of water. Spray of carbendazim 0.05-0.1 per cent, or
Maneb 0.5 per cent has also been worked out for the spray. Even the harvesting at proper
age helps control.
Preparation of produce
Subsequent upon harvesting, injuries often occur that pave way to the air-borne
inoculum. Removal of transit leaves; careful handling at all stages and proper stowage are
the prerequisites for avoiding post-harvest wastage of banana. Minimizing the period of
exposure to tropical heat and rapid curing or chilling ads in avoiding secondary infection.
Specific preparations like application of smear of Vaseline, paraffin wax, colloidal
sulphur (10%) paste or fungicidal paste, seals have been used in large scale banana trade
(Reynold, 1927). Use of polyethylene poly sulphide smear prepared by mixing fungicide,
bentonite clay, synthetic latex (polyethylene, poly sulphide) can be helpful in avoiding
infection at cut ends and cushin infection. Becze (1932) has recommended painting of
quick line and five per cent pllcnol dissolve (~Lf ill illll()lilll.~, for lrcatlllcnt of cut ends.
Alurn (1 %) added to such smear or fungicide mixture may prevent latex stain from
oozing sap of cut ends. Simple washing of the produce with water may help in washing
away of fungal spore brought from plantation (Wardlaw, 1972). Packing becomes
necessary for specific voyages. Treatment of fruits before packing forms a common
practice in banana trade. Emphasis has been laid over the need of general hygiene and
cleanliness of holds as well as at collection centre as a prerequisite before banana
packing. Treatment with Benomyl solution (41.3 g a.i./100 1), Thiabendazol prior to
packing has a,lso been in practice by the banana traders.Transport also counts in wastage
of banana fruits (Sony, 1984). Storage and ripening constitute the proce\sses qn which
banana wastage depends a lot. Mode of ripening and types of ripening rooms in addition
to the conditions prevailing, accounts for. the healthy banana processing (Keshwal &
Khare, 1984). Unskillfully and carelessly handled bulk of fruits in ripening rooms suffer
more due to rotting when high temperature and relative humidity prevail in ripening or
storage rooms. However, Meredith (1961) has emphasized the use of chemical treatment
for fruits in order to save them from damage under such conditions. Spray or dip of fruits
contained in the hold with a number of chemicals has been a common practice world
over. Dip in mycostatin (Nystatin-200-400 ppm), sodium salicylanilide (0.5-1 %) or a
fungicide for 1 minute followed by washing with water has also been useful in reducing
Most Gammon practice of banana curing is the smoking of bulk in the ripening
room. Smoking by burning cow dung cakes for different duration usually help safe
ripening (Soni, 1984). The wastage during ripening is', further reduced when ultra-violet
and infrared radiation for the duration upto 20 minutes was followed (Keshwal & Khare,
1984). However, the general conditions of ripening room and provision of required norms
remain the limiting factors for safe processing of banana fruits in the tropics.
Details of the harvesting process vary according to place and clone (in USA)
Dwarb bananas, such as the Dwarb cavandish can easily be harvested by one man
worth with a cutlass or machete and this is the normal practice for example : Queensland,
the bunch is supported by a grasp of the left hand on the little end and the talk is serred
with a blow of the cutlass. The cut being made at least eighteen inches above the to had
so as to leave a long enough portion of the big end to facilitate subsequent handling.
Tall bananas normally require 2 men for harvesting of the fruit is not to be damaged by
falling. In ‘Jamaica’ a ‘cutter’ is aided by a ‘helper’ and the two are served by a line of
‘carriers’ the ‘cutter’ nicks the pseudo stem with his cutlass in such a fashion as to bring
the plant down as gently as possible. The nick being made on the side towards which the
bunch is to fall. The helper catches the male axis and with it swings the bunch clear of the
ground; the cutter then cut the stalk and the bunch is headed out by one of the carriers to
nearest loading points.
The same used in Jamaica today.
In company plantations of Central America a similar system is operated the cutter being
helped by a backer and mule men for every tall ‘Gross Michel’ a cutting poleis used. The
pseudo stem being nicked @ suitable intervals to allow the gentle decent of the bunch.
The backer caches the bunches and the mule men pack them out to collecting points.
The harvesting operation is a critical one for fruit can very easily be spoit by careless
cutting; indeed the slightest carelessness on the part of the cutter or helper can easily
smash the bunch especially if the plant is tall and the bunch is heavy.
Harvesting in Washington
In harvesting the trunk of the tree is nicked a few feet below the bunch, causing it to bend
@ the place where it has been cut. The upper portion of the tree is then studied to prevent
it from falling and crushing the fruit. A backer catches the bunch on his shoulder, while
the bunch is served from the tree by the cutter using a machete. The tree is then cut down
and quickly decage in the warm, humid environment.
In Jamaica, the method of cutting is different from that used in central America described
above. Each cutter in cutter in Jamaica is followed by numerous headers. As soon as a
bunch is cut one of the headers carriers it to a road or terminal as many as to 20 headers
fallow each cutter.
EXPORT SPECIFICATIONS FOR BANANA
Varieties grown in Maharashtra Grand Naine, Shreemanti, Dwaft Caendish,
Besral, Robusta, Lal Velchi, Safed Velchi,
Rajeli Nendran, Red Banana
Availability Round the year
Major export potential UAF, Gulf countries
Varieties in demand internationally Grand Naine, Cavandish
Area under cultivation (Mah.) 52560 ha
Production 1289863 tons
Variety Grand Naine Colour : Green weight of Bunch : 2.5 kg
cavandish fruits preferably straight
Packing 13 kg
Transport By Sea
HOW TO BCOME AN EXPORTE OF BANANAB
Establishment of firm
For import or export of any item, Import Export Code (IEC) is necessary. For
availing ICE, establishment needs to be registered with appropriate authorities as
proprieorship, partnership, company, cooperative societies etc. Bank account need to be
open in the name of establishment with the bank having a foreign exchange facility.
Import – Export Code (IEC)
IEC can be obtained on submission of information in prescribed form to Director
General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Following documents should be attached with
Firm/Establishment registration certificate – Xerox copy
Permanent account number (PAN) from Income Tax Department – Xerox copy
Banker’s certificate of the establishment
Two passport size photographs of the Chairperson of the establishment. Photos pasted on
the form should be endorsed by the bankers.
Demand draft for Rs. 1000/- favoring joint Director General of Foreign Trade
Declaration (As per the format).
The forms completely filled in all respects to be submitted in two copies to Joint
Director of Foreign Trade at the addresses given below, by hand or by post (Registered
AD). The information is available on www.dgftcom.nic.in and application form is
available in download option of this website.
Addresses of JDGFT in Maharashtra state are as follows
Joint Director General of Foreign Trade
New C.G.O. Building, New Marine Lines
Churchgate, Mumbai-400 020.
After getting IEC, establishment has to get Registration Cum Membership
Certificate (RCMC) from promotion council like Agricultural and Processed Food
Products Export Development Authority (APCDA), New Delhi through their divisional
office or through their website www.apeda.com.
How to locate importer ?
Agricultural and processed food products export development authority
(APEDA), Indian Trade promotion organization (ITPO), Mahratha chamber of
commerce, industries and agriculture (MCCI and A) publishes information on list of
importers and exporters through their newsletters on regular basis. Thhis information is
also available on the website of apeda i.e., www.apeda.com, Such information can also be
availed from Maharashtra state agricultural marketing board (MSAMB). After getting this
information, exporter may directly approach to the importer with the details of product,
rate, packing etc. through fax/email. Further negotiations about the trade can be done
through phone/taxes/email. If necessary samples should be forwarded to the importer and
it should be representative.
Mode of payment
Normally in the trade of agro-exports (except onion, rice and other cereals, mango
pulp), importer never provides letter of Credit (L/C). Such export is done on consignment
basis (payment as per actual sales). Exporters get the payment after deducting port
charges, transportation and commission etc. of the importing country. In certain countries
export is undertaken on fixed rates. Marker credit of the importer should be checked
before entering into the trade. Importer’s credit can be checked by international credit
organizations like Dun and Bradstreet. Export credit Guarantee Corporation of India
(ECCC) also undertakes such type of credit certification work.
Trade for products like onion, rice, cereals, processed products is done through
irrevocable 100% letter of credit (L/C) at site.
Customs/ Excise formalities and charges
For agro exports, excise duty is not applicable. Customs duty @ 1% with respect
to the cost of invoice is charged while processing the documents.
Understand the importers need
Quality parameters such as size, packing, temperature requirements should be
obtained from the importer before packing of the product. It is better to get requirement
from the importer in writing. Pack the material strictly as per the samples provided to the
importer. Confirm the standards of raw material, packaging material with the importer’s
Procedure of shipment
Services of Customs House Agents (CHAs) to be reserved to carry out necessary
logistics and paper work required for export, job like space booking for air exports, order
for the container, custom clearance, certificate of origin etc. is carried out by CHA. An
efficient and competent CHA should be appointed. Following is the list of documents
required to be provided to CHA.
Letter of credit (if available)
Certificate of origin
Phytosanitary certificate can be availed from directorate of plant protection,
quarantine and storage, Ministry of Agriculture
Packing list (if items are more).
Air transport charges are normally five times costlier than sea transport.
Perishable commodities like pomegranate, mango, orange, grapes can be exported
through sea using 40 feet / 20 feet reefer containers. In certain commodities like mangoes,
controlled atmosphere (CA)/Modified Atmosphere (MA) containers are also being used
to enhance the shelf life of the product. Non-perishable and semi-perishable items are
exported through dry containers. In case of onion export one door open/open top
containers are used.
Sales proceed gets deposited in the bank in foreign currency. Exporter gets the
amount in Indian rupees after conversion of the foreign currency. Export documents
including export promotion (EP) copy should be retained by exporter.
The exporter has to prepare invoice while exporting the produce. The sample for the same
is as follows.