|J. Barriobero, B. Ozcoz, E. Róth, J. Mir-Bel, R. López
|enzymatic browning, polyphenol oxidase, Pyrus communis L., ascorbic acid, antioxidant, calcium chloride
Edible coatings could serve as a new alternative to extend the shelf-life of fresh-cut pears.
They can be applied to fresh pear wedges to delay changes in colour, flavour and texture.
Antioxidant compounds can also be added to the edible coating to maintain the product quality.
A gellifying agent from plant origin (based on carrageenan and carob gum) of Comercial Artesana Sosa, S.L. has been used as an edible coating in this study.
Carrageenan is a complex mixture of galactose polymers which form a gel in the presence of monovalent or divalent cations.
The edible coating, with or without added ascorbic acid, has been compared with dipping the slices in a water bath.
The pears were grown in the orchard of Protected Designation of Origin in Rincón de Soto (La Rioja, Spain). Whole pears were washed, peeled, sliced, treated (as mentioned above) and packed with a micro-perforated polypropylene film.
The pears were processed in the pilot plant of CITA-La Rioja.
The changes in headspace gas composition, firmness, total soluble solid content, pH, microbial counts and water loss were monitored during the shelf-life of the fresh-cut product.
The parameters were measured at three day intervals during the 15 days storage at 4°C. Additionally, the respiration rate and the production of ethylene were measured immediately after each treatment.
It can be concluded that edible coatings combined with anti-browning agents can extend the shelf-life of minimally processed 'Conference' pear slices.
The treatment delayed the respiration rate and the ethylene production of the product, minimized water loss, retarded ripening and reduced the microbial counts in the final product.
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