Innovative treatments for shelf-life extension of whole and fresh-cut fruit

Cocci, Emiliano (2008) Innovative treatments for shelf-life extension of whole and fresh-cut fruit, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze degli alimenti, 20 Ciclo.
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Maintaining the postharvest quality of whole and fresh-cut fruit during storage and distribution is the major challenge facing fruit industry. For this purpose, industry adopt a wide range of technologies to enable extended shelf-life. Many factors can lead to loss of quality in fresh product, hence the common description of these products as ‘perishable’. As a consequence normal factors such as transpiration and respiration lead ultimately to water loss and senescence of the product. Fruits and vegetables are living commodities and their rate of respiration is of key importance to maintenance of quality. It has been commonly observed that the greater the respiration rate of a product, the shorter the shelf-life. The principal problem for fresh-cut fruit industries is the relative shorter shelf-life of minimally processed fruit (MPF) compared to intact product. This fact is strictly connected with the higher ethylene production of fruit tissue stimulated during fresh-cut processing (peeling, cutting, dipping). 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is an inhibitor of ethylene action and several researches have shown its effectiveness on the inhibition of ripening and senescence incidence for intact fruit and consequently on their shelf-life extension. More recently 1-MCP treatment has been tested also for shelf-life extension of MPF but discordant results have been obtained. Considering that in some countries 1-MCP is already a commercial product registered for the use on a number of horticultural products, the main aim of this actual study was to enhance our understanding on the effects of 1-MCP treatment on the quality maintenance of whole and fresh-cut climacteric and non-climacteric fruit (apple, kiwifruit and pineapple). Concerning the effects of 1-MCP on whole fruit, was investigated the effects of a semi-commercial postharvest treatment with 1-MCP on the quality of Pink Lady apples as functions of fruit ripening stage, 1-MCP dose, storage time and also in combination with controlled atmospheres storage in order to better understand what is the relationship among these parameters and if is possible to maximize the 1-MCP treatment to meet the market/consumer needs and then in order to put in the market excellent fruit. To achieve this purpose an incomplete three-level three-factor design was adopted. During the storage were monitored several quality parameters: firmness, ripening index, ethylene and carbon dioxide production and were also performed a sensory evaluations after 6 month of storage. In this study the higher retention of firmness (at the end of storage) was achieved by applying the greatest 1-MCP concentration to fruits with the lowest maturity stage. This finding means that in these semi-commercial conditions we may considerate completely blocked the fruit softening. 1-MCP was able to delay also the ethylene and CO2 production and the maturity parameters (soluble solids content and total acidity). Only in some cases 1-MCP generate a synergistic effect with the CA storage. The results of sensory analyses indicated that, the 1-MCP treatment did not affect the sweetness and whole fruit flavour while had a little effect on the decreasing cut fruit flavour. On the contrary the treated apple was more sour, crisp, firm and juicy. The effects of some treatment (dipping and MAP) on the nutrient stability were also investigated showing that in this case study the adopted treatments did not have drastic effects on the antioxidant compounds on the contrary the dipping may enhance the total antioxidant activity by the accumulation of ascorbic acid on the apple cut surface. Results concerning the effects of 1-MCP in combination with MAP on the quality parameters behaviour of the kiwifruit were not always consistent and clear: in terms of colour maintenance, it seemed to have a synergistic effect with N2O MAP; as far as ripening index is concerned, 1-MCP had a preservative effect, but just for sample packed in air.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Cocci, Emiliano
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
postharvest minimally processed fruits 1-methylcyclopropene modified atmospheres
Data di discussione
23 Maggio 2008

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