Okwori, E., Onu, R., O. Adamu, M., Chindo, H., Dikko, H., Odunze, l.l, Baidu, A.L., Natala, C and Eze, P.
Pineapple, water melon, cucumber and carrot are tropical fruits which tend to have short shelf – lives due to the climatic conditions of Nigeria. Processing them into juice and smoothies will reduce the amount of post harvest loss and create availability of natural fruit juice and smoothies in the market or at home for intake. Varieties of juice and smoothies were made from pineapple, watermelon, cucumber and carrot without adding any form of preservatives. Each fruit was blanched in a water bath for 5 – 10 minutes at (75-80) and thereafter blended with laboratory blender. These fruits were processed into juice and smoothies respectively, adding distilled water (1:1) and subsequently, sugar. The juice and smoothies were preserved under different temperature conditions, half were refrigerated and the other half left in a shelf at room temperature for three weeks. The products under experiment were subjected to sensory analysis before and after preservation based on taste, colour, flavour and texture at the end of three weeks (21 days). For the sensory evaluation, there were differences in all the quality attributes (colour, flavour, taste, and overall acceptability) after week 3. Carrot juice were more preferred (excellent) to carrot smoothies, (very good) in all the variables. Cucumber smoothies were preferred more to cucumber juice in taste, while cucumber juice was preferred in texture. Water melon juice and smoothies were most preferred in colour, flavour, taste and texture more. Also Pineapple with water melon juice was more preferred to Pineapple juice (very high acceptability).The two most accepted juice products were carrot juice and water melon/pineapple Juice. Shelf life of the product: The juice packaged in plastic and glass bottles and stored at room temperature loses both colour and taste after 21 days (3weeks) and starts to ferment. Refrigerated Juices and smoothies can be kept conveniently for more than 5weeks without changes in colour, flavour, taste and texture.
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