Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 5, 2004
Publication Date: June 10, 2005
Citation: Izumi, H., Luo, Y., Rodov, V., Watada, A. 2005. Technologies for maintaining quality of fresh-cut produce. In: New Enviromentally Friendly Technologies to Prevent Spoilage and Maintain Quality of Agricultural Produce, (Ben-Yehoshua, ed). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. p. 149-203.
The fresh-cut produce industry is relatively new and is a rapidly growing segment of the fresh produce industry. The sales of fresh-cut products were estimated at approximately $11 billion in 2000 in the U.S., with projected growth of 10-15% annually for the next 5 years. High levels of quality, accompanied by superior safety, are essential for sustained industrial growth and fresh-cut produce consumption. Fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products differ from traditional, intact fruit and vegetables in terms of their physiology, handling, and storage requirements. The disruption of tissue and cell integrity that result from fresh-cut processing decreases product shelf-life. Consequently, fresh-cut products require special handling, especially cold-chain management, because of the magnitude of enzymatic and respiratory factors as well as microbiological concerns that impact safety. This chapter focuses on the unique biochemical, physiological, microbiological, and quality changes in fresh-cut produce with special focus on environmentally friendly techniques for quality and safety maintenance.