|Authors: ||E. Collado, F. Artés-Hernández, L. Navarro, F. Artés, E. Aguayo, J.A. Fernández, P.A. Gómez|
|Keywords: ||Pisum sativum, legumes, modified atmosphere, quality, microbial growth|
Peas (Pisum sativum L. var. saccharatum) are an important source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Pods are harvested before physiological maturity and stored at temperatures near 0°C. Because of their very high respiration rate, and even though they are classified as a non-climacteric product, loss of quality is fast.
Most studies conducted on fresh peas have dealt with the fresh pods, but very little information is available on the optimum storage conditions for immature pea seeds, which are well adapted to preparation as a minimally processed product.
The effects of sanitation with chlorine (100 ppm, pH 6.5) or, alternatively, with acidified sodium chlorite (300 ppm, pH 1.8) and passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on overall quality of fresh pea seeds (cultivar LSQUOLincolnRSQUO) were assessed during storage at 1 and 4°C. After 12 days, atmospheres within packages were 8 kPa CO2/12 kPa O2 and 11 kPa CO2/10 kPa O2 at 1 and 4°C, respectively.
Spoilage microbial growth (mesophilics, enterobacteria, psychrotrophs, yeasts and mould) were around 2 log CFU g-1 and 3 log CFU g-1 at 1 and 4°C, respectively.
However, enterobacterial growth was drastically reduced at 1°C regardless of the disinfectant used.
Colour, firmness and sensory quality were acceptable, with best quality at 1°C. Low-temperature storage allowed a high-quality product to be obtained, even after 12 days of storage, with acidified sodium chlorite being a good alternative to chlorine.
However, more research is needed to study its effects on other quality parameters.
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