Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: There is much interest on the part of both consumers and industry in lightly processed commodities which refers to cut, peeled, cored, or shredded fresh produce. Such commodities have a short shelf life after processing due to the exposed cut surfaces. These surfaces undergo metabolic reactions that often result in undesirable discoloration, shrinkage due to water loss and spoilage. Use of antioxidants such as vitamin C, acidulants such as citric acid, and preservatives can be useful in delaying discoloration and spoilage of cut apple or potato. Edible coatings, used as carriers of antioxidants, acidulants and preservatives, enhanced the effectiveness of these compounds in controlling discoloration of cut apple and potato and spoilage of cut apple. In addition coatings reduced water loss and subsequent shrinkage of cut apple.
Technical Abstract: Use of a cellulose-based edible coating as carrier of antioxidants and preservatives prolonged the storage life of cut apple and potato by about one week at 4 degrees C. Storage of cut apple in vacuum-packed trays further extended shelf life of this commodity. Ascorbic acid helped to delay browning more effectively when applied in a coating than in an aqueous solution. Applications of preservatives in a coating was more effective in controlling others (yeasts and molds). Acidification of coating pH to 2.5 gave optimal control of browning and microbial populations. Addition of soy protein reduced coating permeability to oxygen and water vapor giving some improvement of weight loss control, especially if the pH of the coating formulation was adjusted higher than the isoelectric point of the protein.