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Combining alginate coating with repetitive pulsed light treatment to preserve fresh-cut cantaloupe

In this study, researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia optimized alginate coating formulations for the shelf life extension of fresh-cut cantaloupe treated with repetitive pulsed light (RPL). The results of their study were published in the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation.

  • Interest in fresh-cut cantaloupes is growing due to the convenience and fresh-like quality they provide.
  • However, the fresh-cut processes they undergo cause tissue injury, which makes fresh-cut cantaloupes more susceptible to microbial contamination and deterioration.
  • Pulsed light (PL) treatment is a non-thermal technique used to preserve fresh-cut fruits as it can inactivate microorganisms. Unfortunately, PL treatment alone cannot preserve the quality of fresh-cut fruits.
  • On the other hand, hurdle technology, which combines RPL and edible coating, is an effective approach for extending the shelf life of fresh-cut fruits.
  • The researchers reported that the optimal coating formulation is 1.86 percent alginate and 1.47 percent glycerol.
  • Combined treatment with the coating and RPL — done every 48 hours for the first 26 days of the fresh-cut fruit’s 40-day storage at 4 C — prolonged the shelf life of fresh-cut cantaloupe.
  • The coating reduced fluid loss while maintaining the fruit’s physicochemical qualities (i.e., headspace gas composition, firmness, color, pH, titratable acidity, and phytonutrient content).

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that the combined treatment (RPL and coating) can be used to preserve fresh-cut cantaloupes and is more effective than either RPL or edible coating alone. This could be useful to food producers who want to commercialize fresh-cut products.

 Journal Reference:

Koh PC, Noranizan MA, Karim R, Hanani ZAN, Lasik-Kurdys M. COMBINATION OF ALGINATE COATING AND REPETITIVE PULSED LIGHT FOR SHELF LIFE EXTENSION OF FRESH-CUT CANTALOUPE (CUCUMIS MELO L. RETICULATUS CV. GLAMOUR). Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 29 October 2018;42(11). DOI: 10.1111/jfpp.13786

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