The market (Horticulture statistics Division, DAC & FW;

The Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is most common growing vegetables belongs to the
family “Cucurbitaceae”, it is one of the most popular crop all over the world.
Cucumber mainly grown in summer season; the production of cucumber crops in the world is over 40,000
tonnes, where the first producer country of cucumber is China followed by
Turkey, Iran, Russia and Ukraine (FAO, 2005).

In India cucumber is mainly cultivated in Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan in Summer season and it is one of the most
important vegetables of market (Horticulture statistics Division, DAC & FW;
FAO, 2005; ).

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Cucumber is a most important crop which can be consumed as raw
vegetable as a salad or in some countries consumed as cooked form in the whole
world. The cucumber is a perishable
vegetable as appearance and sensory quality reduced rapidly; quality of
this fruits is highly decreased after harvesting due to shrivelling, water loss
and changes in their color. The shelf life of cucumber in the market is maximum
limited to 2-3 days (Funamoto et al., 2002). The production of cucumber is also
affected by the attack of certain parasites (downy mildew, powdery mildew and
fungal disease) and insects (Anand et al., 2008).  That’s why the price of cucumbers is high
during low and peak production period. The price fluctuation can be overcome and export of
cucumber can be extending by adopting various storage methods.

Cucumbers are not stored at temperature below 7-10°C because the
cucumber is highly chilling sensitive vegetable and at low temperature chilling
injury develop in cucumbers it increases the decay tendency (Snowdon, 1991;
DeEll et al., 2000 &
Kasim and Kasim, 2011). Decay, shrivelling and
yellowing are likely to increase after storage of more than 6 days or a week.

To maintain the quality and enhancing the shelf life of cucumber
during storage period, many techniques and treatments are already being used
for extending post harvest life of cucumber such as modified atmospheric
packaging (MAP), controlled atmospheric packaging (CA), fungicides and chemical
preservatives; However,
all these preservation methods are having some drawbacks such as most methods are
non-biodegradable, less economical, MAP in cucumber sometime alleviates chilling injury
and most important drawback is fungicides and chemical preservatives are
harmful for human health (Wang and Qi, 1997).

Nowadays edible coating is one of the
most important alternative and innovative technique which are highly used in
Postharvest Industry for enhancing postharvest life of fresh fruits and
vegetables. Edible coating is a thin layer edible material which
is applied on fresh fruits and vegetables; it can be consumed with food
together. Edible coatings are enhancing the shelf life of fruits and
vegetables. Edible coating is a new and innovative technique which is developed
for maintenance the quality of fruits and vegetables by preventing the changes
in color, texture, size, shape, appearance, aroma and flavour (Guilbert, 1986 and Tharanathan,
2003).

Carbohydrates are mostly used for edible coating
preparation. Starch amylose for example corn starch is good source for
preparation of edible coating. Corn starch based edible coating is demonstrated
of physical characteristics similar to the plastic coatings and films; it is biologically
absorbent and semi-permeable to gases, odourless, tasteless, colourless and
non-toxic. Thus, the corn starch is fit for human consumption and can be
perfect alternative to post-harvest packaging and preservation of different
fruits and vegetables such as Cucumber due to their minimum cost, excellent
mechanical properties and their biodegradability (Mark et al., 1966 and Dey et
al., 2014).

Basically the edible
coatings are prepared from edible material like carbohydrates, protein, lipid
and their combination but at the present time herbal extracts such as aloe vera
extract, mint extract, tulsi extract, marigold extract, neem extract and others
or their combinations are also used in preparation of edible coatings; it can
be act as antimicrobial, antioxidant and preservative as well as. The additions of these extracts
are making more beneficial and edible coating replaced form herbal edible
coating (Raghav et al., 2016). The Herbal edible coatings are
eco-friendly alternative to maximise the postharvest life of fresh produces and
minimally processed fruits and vegetables (Baldwin,1994;
Pérez-Gago et al., 2005 and Vargas et al., 2008). 

MATERIAL
AND METHODS:

Cucumber
(Cucumis sativus) was procured from
the Jaipur Fruit-vegetables market. The cucumbers were selected fresh, mature
uniform size and shape, clean from any type of cuts and patches. The selected cucumbers were
divided into four groups on the basis of temperature which T0, TA and TR.
Each group was containing 10 cucumbers. The Cucumbers were washed properly form
clean water then again washed with distilled water for 3-5 min. and air dried
at room temperature (25°C).

T0
was denoted control for ambient temperature and refrigeration (4°C) and
used as the control (uncoated cucumber). TA was selected as the
coated cucumber for Room temperature (25-30°C) and TR Was also
selected for refrigeration temperature (4°C); the each group contain 10
cucumbers. The coated and uncoated cucumbers were stored at room temperature
and refrigeration temperature also.     

Preparation of Herbal
Edible Coating

Ø  Preparation of Mint extract     

Fresh Mint leaves ()
was procured from Jaipur market. The fresh mint leaves was separated from stem
and washed with water and final washing from distilled water for 5-7 min. than
shade dried for 4-7 days at room temperature (25-30°C). The dried mint leaves
was placed into hot air oven for 20 min. at 65-70 °C and preparation of dried
powder by using of mixer grinder. The mint leaves extract was evaporated and
air dried at room temperature.