2019-12-06Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/20911
Effects of Pre-Processing Short-Term Hot-Water Treatments on Quality and Shelf Life of Fresh-Cut Apple Slices
Processing, especially cutting, reduces the shelf life of fruits. In practice, fresh-cut fruit salads are, therefore, often sold immersed in sugar syrups to increase shelf life. Pre-processing short-term hot-water treatments (sHWT) may further extend the shelf life of fresh-cuts by effectively reducing microbial contaminations before cutting. In this study, fresh-cut ‘Braeburn’ apples, a major component of fruit salads, were short-term (30 s) hot water-treated (55 °C or 65 °C), partially treated with a commercial anti-browning solution (ascorbic/citric acid) after cutting and, thereafter, stored immersed in sugar syrup. To, for the first time, comprehensively and comparatively evaluate the currently unexplored positive or negative effects of these treatments on fruit quality and shelf life, relevant parameters were analyzed at defined intervals during storage at 4 °C for up to 13 days. Compared to acid pre-treated controls, sHWT significantly reduced the microbial loads of apple slices but did not affect their quality during the 5 day-standard shelf life period of fresh-cuts. Yeasts were most critical for shelf life of fresh-cut apples immersed in sugar syrup. The combination of sHWT and post-processing acid treatment did not further improve quality or extend shelf life. Although sHWT could not extend potential maximum shelf life beyond 10 d, results highlighted the potentials of this technique to replace pre-processing chemical treatments and, thus, to save valuable resources.