Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2010
Publication Date: September 19, 2012
Citation: Fan, X. 2012. Irradiation of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: quality and shelf-life. Book Chapter. 274-294. In. Fan, X and Sommers, C.H. (eds.): Food Irradiation: Research and Technology, 2nd Edition. Willy-Blackwell, West Sussex, United Kingdom. 446 pp. Technical Abstract: The effects of ionizing radiation on each quality parameters (appearance, texture, flavor/taste and nutritional values) of fresh produce are reviewed with a focus on recent developments on fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Changes in respiration rate, ethylene production and enzymatic activities are also discussed. Low dose irradiation extends the shelf life of some fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by inactivating spoilage microorganisms. Many fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables can tolerate up to 1 kGy without significant changes in quality parameters; some may undergo a slight softening following irradiation and a decrease in ascorbic acid content. To minimize the loss of quality for some fruits and vegetables, combinations of irradiation with chemical sanitizers, calcium salts, antioxidants, hot water treatments and modified atmosphere packaging may be used.