Antioxidant properties and shelf-life extension of fresh-cut tomatoes stored at different temperatures
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BACKGROUND: The feasibility of using modified atmosphere packaging (5 kPa O2 + 5 kPa CO2) to maintain the antioxidant properties of fresh-cut tomatoes during shelf-life was assessed through storage at different temperatures (5, 10, 15 and 20 ◦C). Health-related compounds, antioxidant capacity, microbiological counts, physicochemical parameters and in-package atmosphere of tomato slices were determined. RESULTS: Initial lycopene, vitamin C and phenolic contents and physicochemical parameters of tomato slices were well maintained for 14 days at 5 ◦C. Lycopene and total phenolic contents were enhanced over time in tomato slices stored at 15 and 20 ◦C. However, this increase in antioxidant compounds of fresh-cut tomatoes during storage may be associated with excessive amounts of CO2 (R2 = 0.5679–0.7328) in the packages due to microbial growth. Although keeping tomato slices at temperatures above 10 ◦C increased their antioxidant content, the shelf-life of the product was reduced by up 4 days. CONCLUSIONS: A storage temperature of 5 ◦C is appropriate for maintaining the microbiological shelf-life of fresh-cut tomatoes for up to 14 days and also allows the antioxidant properties of tomato slices to be retained over this period, thus reducing wounding stress and deteriorative changes.
Is part ofJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, vol. 88, núm. 15,p. 2606-2614
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