There is a demand for Palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer) tender endosperm (Taal; Nungu) in the off season due to its health benefits. To extend the shelf life of Palmyra palm Tender Fruit Endosperm (PTFE) it was thermally processed. The versatile retort processing technology was used to increase the shelf life. Processed tender endosperm packed in transparent retort pouches (TRP) and nontransparent retort pouches (NTRP) were evaluated for textural, color, microbial, and sensorial properties. Heat penetration tests and F- values were also determined. Processed tender endosperm was compared with fresh endosperm and there was a shelf life of 6 months under ambient storage conditions (30-32°C). The process time to reach lethality in nontransparent pouches (14.03 min) was higher than that in transparent pouches (13.02 min) and the difference may be due to the layer addition of packaging material. Textural profile analysis revealed that hardness, gumminess, and chewiness decreased when the processing and storage time was increased. The sensory score obtained similar results to the textural analysis (Hardness value of TRP:5.063kgfand NTRP: 4.58kgf); succulence and toughness decreased over the prolonged processing time. The tender endosperm in metalized retort pouches scored higher (7.9 as overall acceptability) than that in transparent retort pouches (7.8 as overall acceptability) in terms of sensory analysis. Retorted pouches were microbiologically safe until 6 months with the absence of Clostridium, Staphylococcus and Salmonella spp.The present experiment on shelf life extension of Palmyra tender endosperm (Nungu) helps in preserving the perishable healthy delicacy for more months and also enables to fetch higher income for the farmers with minimal investment.
Borassus flabellifer, Palmyra palm, Retort processing shelf life, Thermal treatment
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