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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 728: V International Congress on Cactus Pear and Cochineal

EFFECT OF CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE ON THE PRESERVATION OF MINIMALLY PROCESSED CACTUS PEARS

Authors:   J. Anorve Morga, E.N. Aquino Bolanos, E. Mercado Silva
Keywords:   Opuntia ficus-indica, sensory analysis, phenolics, browning, visual quality
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2006.728.30
Abstract:
Mexico is the largest producer of fresh cactus pear in the world. Markets for the fresh product regularly become saturated during the peak of the harvest season, however, suggesting that alternatives must be sought to increase commercialization in national and international markets. One possibility is to offer the fruit as a minimally processed product. The objective of this work was to determine the composition of the most appropriate controlled atmosphere (CA) for maintaining the quality of minimally processed cactus pears. Peeled ‘Cristalina’ cactus pears were stored at 2ºC in different CAs (air, 3% O2, air + 3% O2, air + 10% CO2, and 10% CO2). The sensory quality, color, soluble solids content, total sugars, phenols and texture were periodically evaluated. During storage at 2ºC in 10% CO2 atmospheres, peeled fruit showed high values of visual quality, SSC and sugars, as well as a reduced tendency toward browning. Under those conditions, the quality of minimally processed fruit was preserved for up to 20 days.

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