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Markers which help predicting shelf life in ready to eat produce: come and learn more on tacler!Dear FreshPlaza readers, as anticipated two weeks ago (read here), the scientists of EU project Quafety will be waiting for you on the tacler platform (www.tacler.com) on Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. (GMT +2), July 18th, to discuss some topics that are being studied within the project.
Here is a brief summary of the second meeting:
PREDICTING SHELF LIFE USING EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL MARKERS: A CASE STUDY ON ROCKET LEAVES - Maria Luisa Amodio (University of Foggia, Italy)
Friday July 18th - from 2 to 3 p.m. (GMT +2)
The objective of the activity carried out by University of Foggia in QUAFETY is to provide useful tools to the fresh-cut industry to predict organoleptic and nutritional quality that are based on external indicators, easy to evaluate, without the application of long and expensive protocols, or requiring specialized expertise.
The general idea, is to describe the degradation kinetics of external, organoleptic, and nutritional quality parameters of fresh-cut melons and rocket in order to link the deterioration rate of external quality to the degradation of the internal quality.
It is well known, in fact, that shelf-life based on appearance is much longer than shelf-life based on firmness and on organoleptic quality, but we want to study the relationships among the different degradation rates. For rocket, it was observed that when leaves were stored at constant temperatures, appearance score limited the shelf life, nevertheless, an increase in the temperature affected the loss of ascorbic acid more than appearance and off-odour scores, allowing this nutritional attribute to limit the shelf life.
As a consequence it should be taken into account that during non-isothermal storage (due to a not proper temperature control along the chain), the limiting factor of the shelf life definition may vary, according to the temperature profile, and that therefore the thermal history is very important for any further prediction.
Starting on these considerations, by knowing the kinetics of quality changes at a given temperature profile, it was possible to link the change of appearance score to the change of other internal indexes as for the ascorbic acid. This relationship will be used to develop a tool to support processors to better understanding initial quality of their product, to assign its destination by knowing the fate of the internal quality attribute during storage, and to better predict the shelf-life, which will be based on the most limiting factor.
Moreover this tool may also provide information on nutritional and organoleptic quality to the consumer giving an indication as to when the best time is to eat the product from a nutritional point of view.
Come and learn more on tacler - QUAFETY section - Friday July 18th - from 2 to 3 p.m. (GMT +2).
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