Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2007
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
Citation: Luo, Y. Progressive Fresh-cut Technology: Challenges Facing the Industry and Scientific Community [abstract]..
The Fresh-cut produce industry has been rapidly expanding in the last two decades, and is one of the fastest growing food industries in the United States. Freshness, nutrition, and convenience are major factors attributed to the large consumer demands and rapid industry expansion. However, the recent food illness outbreaks associated with the consumption of packaged fresh-cut produce has also made headline news worldwide.
Unlike intact fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut produce sustains substantial tissue injury during processing, and is thus more susceptible to microbial growth and quality deterioration; unlike traditionally processed food, fresh-cut products consist of living tissues and are processed and marketed as "ready-to-eat" yet without a microbial killing step. In addition, fresh produce grow; in an open field and potential contamination with human pathogens can occur anywhere from farm to table. All those factors make fresh-cut produce with a short shelf life vulnerable to food safety issues.
This paper discusses the challenges facing the industry and scientific community. Issues involved in maintaining both quality and safety of fresh-cut produce, their current status and future research directions will be emphasized.