Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Citric acid is used to prevent discoloration of fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products, and is known to have an effect on respiration. This study was undertaken to determine if the effect on respiration could be beneficial on carrot shreds shelf life. The results indicated citric acid reduced respiration, which is desirable in extending shelf life. The amount of reduction was dependent on the concentration of the acid. Thus, the acid can play a dual role of preventing discoloration and of extending shelf life. This information is beneficial to the fresh-cut industry in seeking methods to maintain quality of their products.
Citric acid is known to inhibit phosphofructokinase, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of fructose 6-phosphate to fructose 1,6-bisphosphate in the glycolytic pathway. The acid is used to prevent discoloration, thus the effect of the acid on respiration of carrot shreds was studied. Carrot shreds were dipped in 0, 1, 3, 10, 100, or 300 mM citric acid solution for 2 min, centrifuged, and placed in glass jars at 15 degrees C. Air was metered through the jars and carbon dioxide production was measured. Respiration rate was reduced with the citric acid treatment, and the reduction was related linearly to the concentration of the acid. Thus, citric acid is beneficial in not only preventing discoloration, but in reducing the respiration rate, which may help extend shelf life.