|Cameron, Randall - Randy|
|ZHONG, TIAN - University Of Science And Technology Of China|
Submitted to: Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2021
Publication Date: 6/26/2021
Citation: Sun, X.N., Cameron, R.G., Plotto, A., Zhong, T., Ference, C.M., Bai, J. 2021. The effect of controlled-release carvacrol on safety and quality of blueberries stored in perforated packaging. Foods. 10/1084. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071487.
Interpretive Summary: Blueberry is an important source of micronutrients in the human diet. Nonetheless, the berries are very delicate and fragile in storage and transportation. Carvacrol is from natural plants, such as oregano and thyme, and effective against a wide range of foodborne pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. As it is a well known fact that the strong antimicrobial property is associated with a persistent off-odor. In this research, controlled-release microencapsulated carvacrol was formulated and applied to packaged blueberries. The results indicate that pectin/sodium alginate controlled-release microencapsulated carvacrol could be used for the preservation of blueberries and other small fruit without causing any off-flavor.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of a controlled-release carvacrol powder to delay storage decay and maintain safety of blueberries. The controlled-release carvacrol powder was a microcapsule of carvacrol surrounded by a pectin/sodium alginate matrix. The microcapsules were packed in an air-permeable pouch, and then attached to the top of a clamshell filled with blueberries. The blueberries, inoculated with Escherichia coli or Colletotrichum acutatum, or non-inoculated control, were monitored for bacterial growth and quality for 10 days at 10 °C and 5 days at 20 °C. Three treatments were compared: controlled-release microencapsulated carvacrol, nonencapsulated carvacrol, and control. The results showed that both the microencapsulated carvacrol and the nonencapsulated carvacrol treatments significantly reduced the populations of yeast and mold, and of E. coli and other bacteria. The microencapsulated carvacrol treated berries retained better quality with higher firmness and lower weight loss. Sensory panelists found that the microencapsulated carvacrol berries had higher overall blueberry flavor and lower discernible off-flavor in comparison with the non-encapsulated treatment and control berries. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that although carvacrol treatments did not cause a change in the volatile profile of the natural blueberries, the nonencapsulated carvacrol treatment left a substantial carvacrol residue adsorbed on the fruit, resulting in detectable off flavor, in comparison with the much lower residue in the microencapsulated carvacrol treated fruit. These results indicate that pectin/sodium alginate controlled-release microencapsulated carvacrol can be used for the preservation of blueberries or other small fruit.