Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 12, 2011
Publication Date: August 24, 2011
Citation: Bai,J., Plotto,A. 2012. Coatings for fresh fruits and vegetables. In: Baldwin, E.A.,Hagenmaier, R.,Bai, J.,editors. Edible Coatings and Films to Improve Food Quality. 2nd edition. Boca Raton,FL:CRC Press. p.185-242.
Coatings (waxes) are applied to apples, citrus, stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers prior to marketing in order to reduce water loss and shrinkage, create a modified atmosphere inside the produce, slow down senescence and ageing, impart shine, and allow for better quality and marketing price. Coating formulations need to be adapted to the fruit type and variety to ensure proper adherence, optimize visual appearance, and avoid excess modification of internal O2 and CO2 that can lead to off flavor and physiological disorders. Properties of common coatings are reviewed: lipids and resins, polysaccharides, proteins and composite coatings. Specific examples are given for apples and pears, citrus fruit, stone fruit, grapes, berries, kiwifruit, melons, bananas, mangoes, tomatoes and root crops. Commercial coatings and coatings under research, their use and their properties are compiled in several tables.