IMPROVING THE SENSORY QUALITY AND SHELF LIFE OF FRESH-CUT FRUIT PRODUCTS
Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research
Title: Post-cutting flavor changes in freshly harvested Gala apples and in fresh-cuts prepared after controlled atmosphere storage.
Submitted to: International Association for Fresh Produce
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2008
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Citation: Beaulieu, J.C., Bett Garber, K.L., Baldwin, E.A. 2008. Post-cutting flavor changes in freshly harvested Gala apples and in fresh-cuts prepared after controlled atmosphere storage. International Association for Fresh Produce.
A fair amount of fresh-cut apple research has been performed; yet the main focus has been on browning, edible coatings, and ripening inhibition, with little sensory and flavor analysis. Subsequently, a fresh-cut storage study was performed with the goal to monitor flavor and sensory changes in freshly harvested Gala apples versus fresh-cuts prepared after CA (3 months, 1.4% CO2 and 3% O2), and one month refrigerated (RA) storage at 4°C. Apples were dipped in browning inhibitor (BI; 2 or 4% Na-erythorbate + 0.1% CaCl2), packaged in LLDPE bags (2.6 mil, 15.5 cc • m2 • day) and evaluated for descriptive flavor attributes, volatiles, sugars, CO2 and O2, and color after 0, 2, 7, and 14 days at 1°C. Initial apple firmness versus after CA+RA was 77.2 N and 66.1 N. Headspace O2 concentration in bags dropped to 1 to 2.7% by day 14 in freshly prepared fresh-cuts (FC) versus <1.0% by day 7 in CA+RA wedges. CO2 concentration in FC bags increased linearly, up to 20.8% and 28.5%, through days 7 and 14, respectively, versus 21.1% and 34.2% by days 7 and 14 in wedges after CA+RA. There was a slight reduction in °Brix after and lower sucrose (1.4 to 2.1%), total sugars (0.3 to 2.4%), and sucrose equivalents (0.1 to 2.7%) after CA+RA storage. However, °Brix and several sugar and acid measures were highly variable during fresh-cut storage after both processing times. In general, wedge color was superior in most pre-CA versus after CA+RA treatments throughout 14 d storage. There was no apparent difference between BI levels in terms of browning or flavor. BI-treated wedges were rated more astringent than control fresh-cuts, especially after CA+RA. With few exceptions, “fruity”, “raw/ripe apple” and “sweet” attributes were higher immediately after harvest compared with CA+RA treatments. “Sour” and “citrus” scores were higher after CA+RA only in BI-treated wedges. Wedges stored in LLDPE pouches or air generally experienced short-term ester increase, followed by a significant decrease and concomitant alcohol (ethanol, 1-butanol, 1-hexanol and 1-octanol) increases. Total acetate esters and non-acetate esters decreased markedly during fresh-cut storage, independent of tissue browning.