Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Zucchini slices are highly perishable and cannot be kept at near 0 degrees C to maintain quality because of their susceptibility to chilling injury. Calcium treatment and low oxygen atmosphere have been shown to be beneficial in maintaining quality of some fresh-cut products, thus these two treatments were evaluated for maintaining the quality of zucchini slices. A 0.25 percent oxygen atmosphere reduced respiration rate, ethylene production, deterioration, and microbial count and maintained the texture force and vitamin C content of slices held at 10 degrees C. Calcium treatment itself was beneficial, but had no additive effect when slices were held in low oxygen atmosphere; so if the indusstry wants to lower the oxygen atmosphere down to 0.25 percent, calcium treatment is not necessary.
Calcium chloride treated or nontreated zucchini squash slices were stored in air or low O2 (0.25, 0.5 and 1 percent) at 10 degrees C. Respiration rate, ethylene production, and development of browning/decay were reduced under low O2. Slices stored under 0.25 percent O2 had less weight loss and browning/decay, and greater shear force and L-ascorbic acid content than those held in air. Microbial count, pH, and color were affected desirably by the low O2 at the end of storage. Calcium treatment had no additive effect on maintaining the quality of zucchini squash slices stored in 0.25 percent O2 atmosphere.