Extending the shelf life of fresh-cut eggplant with a soy protein-cysteine based edible coating and modified atmosphere packaging
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The effect of a soy protein-based edible coating with antioxidant activity, and conventional and super-atmospheric modified atmosphere (MA) packaging, on the quality of fresh-cut 'Telma' eggplants, was evaluated during storage. In a first experiment, eggplant pieces were dipped in either a coating composed of soy protein isolate (SPI) and 0.5% cysteine (Cys), or water as an uncoated control. Samples were packed in trays under atmospheric conditions to reach a passive MA (MA-P) or two gas mixtures (MA-A: 15 kPa CO2 + 5 kPa O-2; MA-B: 80 kPa O-2) and were stored at 5 degrees C. Atmospheric conditions were used as the control conditions (Control). The coated samples packed under MA-B and Control conditions resulted in the highest whiteness index (WI) values during storage, whereas MA-A did not improve the shelf-life of minimally processed eggplants and had the lowest WI values. The MA-Band atmospheric control conditions helped to maintain firmness, whereas the coating helped to maintain the weight loss under MA-A and MA-B. The maximum commercial shelf-life was reached on day 6 for the coated samples packed under atmospheric conditions. In a second experiment, the commercial shelf-life of fresh-cut eggplants was extended to 8 and 9 storage days by increasing the Cys content in the edible coating from 0.5 to 1% under MA-B and Control storage conditions, respectively. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.