Submitted to: International Fresh Cut Produce Association Annual Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 11, 2005
Publication Date: April 16, 2005
Citation: Wang, H., Feng, H., Luo, Y. 2005. Postharvest behavior of packaged fresh-cut apples after sequential treatments of sanitizers and calcium ascorbate [abstract]. International Fresh Cut Produce Association Annual Conference.
Fresh-cut apples have become increasingly popular in recent years in response to the consumer demands for freshness, nutrition, and convenience. Although a high concentration of calcium ascorbate solution offers an effective control of browning reaction, microbial growth and the potential for pathogen contamination remain as major concerns due to the incompatibility of calcium ascorbate (reducing agent) and the commonly used sanitizers (oxidation agents). Therefore, sanitizers that can be used safely and effectively in conjunction with browning agents to control both microbial growth and browning simultaneously are urgently needed. In an attempt to find such an effective combination, we studied the effect of acidic electrolyzed water (AEW) and peroxyacetic acid-based sanitizer (POAA) in combination with (or without) calcium ascorbate (CaA) on microbial growth and browning of apple slices.
Apple slices were treated with AEW and POAA, and sequential treatments of AEW or POAA followed by CaA. Samples were drained, packaged, and stored at 4°C for 21 days. Changes in package atmospheres, product color, firmness and sensory qualities, as well as total aerobic bacterial populations, yeast and mold populations on apple slices were examined after 0, 4, 8, 11 and 21 days in storage. Test results indicated that AEW and AEW followed by CaA were most effective in controlling microbial growth during storage. AEW followed by CaA also resulted in the lowest decay rate, least browning and least firmness loss of apples during storage, while POAA followed by CaA treatment caused relatively fast decay rate, browning development, and firmness loss after 11 days. POAA alone accelerated browning and decay after 4 days. In summary, the sequential treatment of AEW followed by CaA was an effective method to maintaining quality of fresh-cut apples and inhibiting microbial growth during storage.