Fresh-cut products, also known as lightly or minimally processed products, are highly perishable because a large proportion of their surface area is without epidermis, the outer protective layer of tissue. Temperature, atmosphere, relative humidity and sanitation must be regulated to maintain quality of fresh-cuts. In the 0–10 °C range, Q 10 of respiration rates ranged from 2.0 to 8.6 among various fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Low O 2 and elevated CO 2 atmosphere reduced the respiration rate; however, the respiratory quotient approached 3.0 with some fresh-cuts. Film bags or coatings are necessary to maintain high relative humidity. Microorganisms were present in chlorine-washed spinach, and populations increased during storage. Stress from the physical action of processing and low O 2 atmosphere affects physiology and biochemistry of the fresh-cuts, which can affect quality and shelf-life. Research in all of these areas is needed to ensure that wholesome, high-quality fresh-cut products are marketed to consumers.
Postharvest Biology and Technology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 1996
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