Quality Changes in Jicama Roots Stored at Chilling and Nonchilling Temperatures

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Mature jicama roots (Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urban cv. Agua Dulce) were stored at 5, 10, 13, and 20C for 1, 2 or 3 weeks and then transferred to ambient conditions (18-23C) for 1 week. Storage of roots at 5C and 10C for 2 weeks resulted in chill-induced decay and loss of intact root firmness. Increased rates of water loss after storage was another indicator of chilling injury; poststorage water loss rates after storage at 5C and 10C were double the rates of roots stored at 13C and 20C. With storage for 2 weeks, the pulp of roots stored at 10C showed brown discolored areas and this was best represented by decreasing L* values. The grey, translucent aspect of the pulp of roots stored at 5C resulted in L* values intermediate between those at 10C and 13C. Force to penetrate the pulp with a 5 mm probe decreased at 10C but increased at 5C. The distance to rupture point increased at 5C and 10C, indicating loss of crispness. Jicama roots stored at 13C and 20C maintained good external visual quality and a white crisp pulp.

Edmundo Mercado-Silva
Marita Cantwell
UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology