Quality Changes in Fresh-cut Pear Slices as Affected by Cultivar, Ripeness Stage, Fruit Size, and Storage Regime
Fresh-cut fruit slices prepared from partially ripened Bartlett pears had longer shelf life than those from Bosc, Anjou, and Red Anjou pears. Pear fruit ripeness, based on flesh firmness of 44 to 58 N, is optimal for fresh-cut pear slice processing. Pear slices derived from smaller size fruit (122 to 135 g) have greater cut surface discoloration and deteriorate more rapidly than slices derived from larger fruit (152 g). Recently harvested Bartlett pear fruit and whole pears held at –1 °C in a controlled atmosphere of 2%O2 + 98%N2 had a longer post-cutting shelf life than those held in air at –1 °C for the same duration. Cut surface browning, flesh softening, and surface dehydration of the slice cut surface were all contributors to loss of product quality.