Physical and mechanical properties of banana (Musa acuminata Colla) are necessary to design handling and packaging equipment, and for safe transportation. The postharvest losses of banana in Sri Lanka are about 30 % and the mechanical damage during transport and handling contributes largely for these losses. Further, about 97 % of fruits are handled by the traditional marketing channels under poor postharvest handling practices and therefore, safe handling and transport is of prime importance at present. The bulk transportation is generally considered as the most cost effective method. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the physical and mechanical properties related to handling and transport of commercially grown local banana cultivars namely, Seeni, Embul and Kolikuttu. The moisture content, linear dimensions of bunches and fruits, sphericity and aspect ratio of fruits, bulk density and true density, coefficient of static friction and the angle of repose on different surfaces such as wood, steel and Styrofoam, and fruit firmness were measured for the above three cultivars at the harvest maturity. The average bunch length of the banana cultivars Embul and Kolikuttu were higher than those of Seeni. The geometrical mean diameters of Embul and Kolikuttu fruits were also higher than Seeni (p<0.05). The average fruit length of Embul, Seeni and Kolikuttu cultivars were 10.5 (±0.86), 10.5 (±0.86) and 14.3 (±1.66) cm, respectively. The fruit finger sphericities were between 0.37-0.38 for all cultivars tested (p>0.05). The bulk density of fruits and hands were higher than those of the whole bunch. The lowest coefficient of static friction was on Styrofoam and the highest was on a wooden surface. There was no significant difference of firmness of mature green banana fruits among the cultivars (p>0.05). This data could be used for appropriate designs and improvements of postharvest handling and packaging in future.
Wasala, W. M. C. B., Dharmasena, D. A. N., Dissanayake, T. M. R., & Thilakarathne, B. M. K. S. (2015). Physical and Mechanical Properties of Three Commercially Grown Banana (Musa acuminata Colla) Cultivars in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 24(1), 42. https://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v24i1.7988