|Authors: ||A. Ierna, A. Pellegrino, I. Di Silvestro, M. Buccheri|
|Keywords: ||early potatoes, minimally processed, anti-browning treatments, cultivar, chemical composition, sensory evaluation|
In several Mediterranean countries potato production is focused on the "early" crop type.
Early potatoes have usually lower dry matter content than tubers from the usual crop and they are a proven source of vitamins (e.g., ascorbic acid) and other antioxidant compounds (total phenolics). The enhanced interest in fresh-cut products has recently led to the expansion of minimally processed early potatoes production.
Limited information exists in the literature about the qualitative traits of minimally processed "early" potato.
In this work we studied the effects of three anti-browning dipping treatments (SW, sterile deionized water; SB, 0.2% sodium bisulfite, commonly used by the fresh-cut potato industry; AA+CA, 2.0% ascorbic acid + 2.0% citric acid) on the sensory and physico-chemical characteristics of minimally processed tubers from eight cultivars ('Antea', 'Arinda', 'Ditta', 'Liseta', 'Marabel', 'Matador', 'Mondial' and 'Spunta') widely grown in the Mediterranean basin.
Slices were packaged in Polyamide/Polyethylene (PA/PE) bags (15×20 cm; 85 µm thick) under passive modified atmosphere, stored at 4±1°C and evaluated after 9 days.
Overall, the AA+CA treatment resulted in a better sensory quality (less browning and off-odor, more firm texture) and enriched nutritional profile (higher citric acid and ascorbic acid contents and higher antioxidant activity) with respect to water and sulfited dipping.
'Arinda', 'Marabel', 'Matador' and 'Spunta' cultivars performed best, whereas 'Antea' and 'Ditta' appeared not to be suitable as minimally processed tubers.
These preliminary results demonstrate that the choice of cultivar represents a key issue in determining the overall quality of minimally processed "early" tubers.
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