Effect of processing on the physicochemical, sensory, nutritional and microbiological quality of fresh-cut ‘rojo brillante’ persimmon
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AuthorSanchís Soler, Elena
Cita bibliográficaSanchís Soler, E. (2016). Effect of processing on the physicochemical, sensory, nutritional and microbiological quality of fresh-cut 'Rojo Brillante' persimmon (Ph. D. Thesis). Universitat Politècnica de València.
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki L.) ‘Rojo Brillante’ is an astringent variety characterised by good growing conditions, excellent colour, size, sensory characteristics and good nutritional properties. In the last decade, its production has grown substantially in Spain given the application of high levels of CO2 to remove astringency while firmness is preserved. This technology has also increased its potential as a fresh-cut commodity. However, physical damage during processing result in degradation of the colour and firmness of the product and a higher susceptibility to microbial spoilage that significantly reduces the fruit´s shelf life. The objective of the present thesis was to develop optimum procedures for processing and marketing ‘Rojo Brillante’ persimmon into a fresh-cut product with the maximum shelf life and best physicochemical, nutritional, sensory and microbiological quality. Firstly, the objective was to evaluate the effect of the maturity stage (MS) at harvest, storage time at 15 ºC before processing, and the application of different antioxidant treatments on enzymatic browning, sensory and nutritional quality of fresh-cut ‘Rojo Brillante’ persimmon during storage at 5 ºC. Concentrations of 10 g L-1 ascorbic acid (AA) or 10 g L-1 citric acid (CA) controlled tissue browning and maintained the visual quality of fresh-cut persimmon above the limit of marketability for 6-8 storage days at 5 ºC, depending on the MS. However, these acidic solutions reduced fruit firmness as compared to control samples. Further studies showed that the combination of these antioxidants with 10 g L-1 CaCl2 maintained firmness of the persimmon slices within the same range as the control samples. In another work, the application of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) allowed to process fruits after 45 days of storage at 1 ºC with commercial firmness and the antioxidant solution (10 g L-1 CA + 10 g L-1 CaCl2) extended the limit of marketability up to 9 days of storage at 5 ºC. Different controlled atmosphere conditions in combination with AA or CA dips were also evaluated as a first step to select optimum O2 and CO2 concentrations for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh-cut ‘Rojo Brillante’ persimmons. Overall, the combination of antioxidant dips and a controlled atmosphere composed of 5 kPa O2 (balance N2) was proved to be the most effective combination to control enzymatic browning. This atmosphere maintained the visual quality of persimmon slices within the limit of marketability during 7- 9 days at 5 ºC. On the contrary, high CO2 concentrations (10 or 20 kPa) induced darkening in some tissue areas, associated with a flesh disorder known as ‘internal flesh browning’. Later studies confirmed the beneficial effect of an active MAP in 5 kPa O2 compared to passive MAP to improve the visual quality of fresh-cut ‘Rojo Brillante’ persimmon, showing a synergic effect with the antioxidant dip (10 g L-1 CA + 10 g L-1 CaCl2). Antioxidant edible coatings were prepared from whey protein isolate (WPI), soy protein isolate (SPI), hydroxylpropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and apple pectin as the polymeric matrix. All edible coatings were amended with the antioxidant combination selected (10 g L-1 CA + 10 g L-1 CaCl2). All the edible coatings tested proved effective to control enzymatic browning of persimmon slices. However, the samples treated with the HPMC- and pectin- based coatings were scored with a better visual quality that the rest of the treatments. In general, free radical scavenging activity and total carotenoid content increased in late-season persimmons; whereas, processing (cutting and storage at 5 ºC), antioxidant dips, controlled atmosphere storage or edible coatings had no clear effect on nutritional quality (vitamin C, free radical scavenging activity, total phenolic content, and carotenoids) of fresh-cut persimmons. Antimicrobial edible coatings were prepared from the optimised apple pectin-based edible coating by incorporating different antimicrobial agents (potassium sorbate (PS) at 2 or 4 g kg-1, sodium benzoate (SB) at 4 g kg-1, or nisin (NI) at 500 IU mL-1). All the edible coatings tested were effective to control enzymatic browning of fresh-cut persimmon. The combination of antioxidants with NI completely inhibited the growth of mesophilic aerobics after 4 days at 5ºC and also effectively stunted the growth of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes in artificially inoculated fresh-cut persimmons. Combination of active MAP (5kPa O2) and the selected pectin-based edible coating improved the visual quality of coated persimmon slices and inhibited microbial growth, which extended the shelf-life for more than 9 days of storage at 5 ºC.