Changes in the Quality of Fresh-cut Jicama in Relation to Storage Temperatures and Controlled Atmospheres
Intact jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) roots are chilling sensitive, but quality of fresh-cut pieces (1.8 × 4.5 cm cylinders) was best maintained at low storage temperatures (0 to 5 °C). Respiration rates of different piece sizes were similar, and averaged 2, 7 and 10 μL CO2·g–1·h–1 at 0 °C, 5 °C and 10 °C, respectively. Storage in air at 5 °C to 10 °C resulted in surface browning and was associated with increases in phenolics and phenylalanine ammonia lyase and polyphenol oxidase activities. High CO2 atmospheres (5 to 10%) at 5 °C were very effective in retarding microbial growth and discoloration. The source of jicama root notably affected the quality and shelf-life of the fresh-cut pieces. Fresh-cut pieces from stored roots (2 wk at 19 to 22 °C) had lower visual quality and crispness during subsequent storage than did pieces from recently harvested roots.