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21/10/2012 (Added to site)
Author(s): Sandhya, S.; Alam, M. S.

Preservation of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: current status and emerging technologies

Journal: Stewart Postharvest Review, 8/2 (2012), pp. 1-10
DOI: 10.2212/spr.2012.2.2
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Abstract:

Purpose of review: This review focuses on: (1) the main factors influencing quality losses in fresh-cut fruits and vegetables which may occur as a consequence of microbiological, enzymatic, chemical or physical changes; (2) the efficiency of numerous physic al, chemical, and biological methods for reducing the microbiological load of produce and preservation of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.

Findings: Consumption of ready-to-eat fresh-cut fruits has increased substantially over the last few years, mostly due to the increasing demand for low-caloric food products with fresh-like characteristics. In fact, sales for cut and packaged fruits and vegetables are emerging to answer the consumer's desire for more convenience in their daily lives. However, as a consequence of inappropriate manipulation and storage conditions, pathogenic or deteriorative microorganisms may contaminate a product, thus increasing the risk of microbial diseases and spoilage. It is therefore desirable to preserve the characteristics of fresh cut fruits and vegetables at their peak.

Limitations/implications: Cultivar, pre-harvest cultural practices and climatic conditions, maturity at harvest, and harvesting method, handling procedures and food safety programs.

Directions for future research: Efforts should be made to develop feasible procedures for industries that ensure high microbiological safety and quality standards, through HACCP plans, for fresh-cut produce. It is also necessary to explore new treatments that improve the quality and safety of fresh-cut produce.



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