|Authors: ||C. Patanč, A. Pellegrino, A. Malvuccio, L. Siracusa, G. Ruberto, V. Rizzo, F. Giuffrida|
|Keywords: ||fresh-cut produce, dipping, microbial contamination, nutritional quality, shelf-life|
The Mediterranean small-sized "long-storage" tomato, which allows an extended shelf life due to its textural properties, provides a delightful product that combines good taste with excellent nutritional properties.
Due to the high drought tolerance of the plant, long-storage tomato is traditionally cultivated with no water supply once established, indicating an interesting genetic source in breeding programmes for water stress tolerance in both fresh and processing tomatoes.
Recently, the feasibility of obtaining a new minimally processed product from local landraces of long-storage tomato has been considered.
A study was conducted to assess the quality of fresh-cut long-storage tomato during storage at 4°C compared to a commercial cultivar of grape-shaped tomato, and also the efficacy of some dipping treatments on shelf-life extension.
All fruits were disinfected for 10 min in a sodium hypochlorite solution before cutting in half.
Dipping consisted of a 1 h dip in 1% citric acid or 2.4% calcium chloride solutions (w/v) after cutting.
Long-storage tomato exhibited higher quality than commercial tomato throughout 13 days of storage, e.g. in terms of total solids (>8 g 100 g-1), total polyphenols (>0.12 mg g-1 fresh weight), soluble solids (>5 °Brix), and antioxidant activity [>80% 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) inhibition]. The calcium chloride dip resulted in greater cut fruit quality compared to the citric acid dip.
Both treatments were beneficial for microbial quality (mesophiles, Enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and moulds) when compared to the control (distilled water dip), but not when compared to the untreated control (no dip), in which microbial load was the lowest.
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