Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Dea, S., Brecht, J.K., Nunes, M.N., Baldwin, E.A. 2013. Optimal Ripeness Stage for Processing ‘Kent’ Mangoes into Fresh-cut Slices. HortTechnology. 23:12-23.
Interpretive Summary: In the fresh-cut processing industry, the assessment of the optimal ripeness stage at which the fruit should be processed into fresh-cut is of great interest as it will contribute to a best product quality with maximum shelf life based on both appearance and flavor. Nevertheless, there is a lack of information regarding the influence of the ripeness stage of the whole fruit at processing and its effect on the physiology and quality of fresh-cut mango products. This study determined the optimal ripeness stage for processing ‘Kent’ mango into a fresh-cut product and marketing it with best quality and maximum shelf life in terms of visual, compositional, and sensory quality.
The optimal ripeness stage for processing ‘Kent’ mango into a fresh-cut product and marketing it with best quality and maximum shelf life in terms of visual, compositional, and sensory quality was determined. An initial ripeness stage selection was based on whole fruit firmness, which was more reliable than flesh color or soluble solids content (SSC) in predicting shelf life. The visual quality differed among the ripeness stages and deteriorated during storage. The shelf life duration, based on the subjective visual evaluation, was 10, 7, and 5 d for ripeness stages corresponding to average flesh firmness of 35 N, 30 N, and 25 N, respectively, and was mainly limited by desiccation and the development of off odor for the two firmer ripeness stages, or edge tissue damage and spoilage for the least firm stage. The slices from fruit with the highest initial firmness remained firmer during shelf life, had the lowest pH and SSC to titratable acidity (TA) ratio, and the highest contents of ketones and esters. The softest slices had the highest pH, SSC/TA ratio, and ascorbic acid (AA) content, as well as the lowest TA and highest aldehyde and alcohol contents. Intermediate firmness slices had intermediate pH, SSC/TA ratio, color, and AA content. Also, they had less alcohols and aldehydes than slices from riper fruit, but had similar content of esters as slices from the less ripe fruit. Therefore, an initial firmness of 30 N is recommended to process ‘Kent’ mangoes into fresh-cut slices, to assure maximum shelf life based on textural, visual, and compositional attributes.