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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO QUALITY MAINTENANCE AND EVALUATION OF INTACT AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE Project Number: 1275-43440-002-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Sep 25, 2004
End Date: Sep 03, 2009

Objective:
Develop novel or alternative postharvest systems to maintain quality of intact and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables with consideration of cultivar selection, physical and sensory characteristics, physiology, pathology, food safety, and produce responses to non-chemical and GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) treatments. Apple, melon, pepper, squash, tomato, and potentially other products will be evaluated. Develop new or improved instrumental quality measurements after elucidating the relationships between physical and sensory characteristics of intact and fresh-cut products.

Approach:
The approaches used in this project to reach our objectives will be based on developing and integrating different technologies to achieve the desired levels of quality, stability and safety. We will integrate technologies such as cultivar selection, postharvest non-chemical and chemical treatments to prevent or decrease microbial contamination, fresh-cut processing methods, biocontrol methods, modified atmosphere packaging, and different storage regimes. Microbial assays, sensory evaluations, and a variety of instrumental methodologies will be used or developed to measure changes in produce quality and safety after treatment. Specifically, alternative processing and packaging technologies to improve shelf stability and food safety of fresh-cut products will be combined with the selection of optimal cultivars. Methods for maintaining quality of intact produce with GRAS (generally regarded as safe) substances will be optimized. Instrumental methods that better predict overall quality or specific sensory characteristics will be developed following study of the relationships between physical and sensory properties.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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