Effects of polysaccharide-based edible coatings enriched with dietary fiber on quality attributes of fresh-cut apples
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Little information is available regarding the incorporation of dietary fiber into edible films and coatings. In this work, apple fiber and inulin were incorporated into polysaccharide-based (alginate, pectine and gellan gum) edible coating formulations and their effects on the quality attributes of
fresh-cut apples were evaluated. Antioxidant properties, color, firmness, sensory quality and microbial growth of fresh-cut apple were studied during 16 days of storage at 4 A degrees C. Results show that dietary fiber extracts incorporated to gellan gum, pectin and alginate-based coatings together with calcium chloride and ascorbic acid successfully maintained the firmness and color of coated fresh-cut apples in comparison with uncoated control samples, which presented severe texture softening and browning. The firmness of apple pieces coated with polysaccharide-based coating formulations incorporating apple fiber doubled, and sometimes tripled, that of uncoated samples. Any of the assayed coatings exhibited a positive effect on the sensory properties of fresh-cut apples. The incorporation of apple fiber, together with the use of ascorbic acid, contributed to keep the antioxidant potential of the fruit at least during the first week of storage. Furthermore, gellan gum coatings had a marked effect in reducing mesophilic and psychrophilic counts on fresh-cut apples throughout storage regardless the addition of dietary fibers. The results achieved demonstrate the feasibility of the addition of dietary fiber to edible coating formulations for increasing the nutritional value of fresh-cut apples without compromising their fresh-like quality attributes.