Quality changes and respiration rates of fresh-cut sunchoke tubers (Helianthus tuberosus L)

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Changes in quality attributes (discoloration, surface dehydration, translucency, color values, texture), respiration, phenolics and phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and polyphenol oxidase activities of sunchoke tuber slices were studied at 0, 5 and 10C. Cleanly cut smooth surfaces had less wound-induced discoloration and surface drying than rougher cut surfaces. The main quality defect was red discoloration, and a* and hue color values were highly correlated to this defect. The time course of discoloration was related to wound-induced respiration and PAL activity but not polyphenol oxidase activity or concentrations of soluble phenolics. Respiration rates of slices at 0, 5 and 10C averaged 5, 14 and 26 μL CO2/g-h, respectively, during 7 days. No decay was observed under any condition. Storage at 0 and 5C effectively retarded surface discoloration, but 0C was clearly better. A shelf life of 9–12 and 6–8 days was obtained with sunchoke slices at 0 and 5C, respectively, while shelf life was 3 days at 10C.

Quingguo Wang
Marita Cantwell
Journal of Food Processing and Preservation