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Cold plasma treatment on fresh-cut kiwifruitThe efficacy of atmospheric plasma treatment on microbial decontamination of different food products is already known. Recently, this innovative technology has been proposed in order to test the improvement of quality maintenance of fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, nevertheless, the knowledge on the modifications of functional and nutritional properties of minimally processed fruit is still scarce.
Italian scientists have tested the effect of double barrier discharge (DBD) cold plasma treatment on the quality of fresh-cut kiwifruit and on its potential effect on health properties. Treatments of 10 and 20 min per side were performed and their consequences were evaluated during four days of storage in controlled conditions. In particular, scientists monitored physical parameters related to visual quality (colour and darkened area), texture and standard chemical parameters. The chlorophyll, carotenoids, ascorbic acid and polyphenols content was also measured. The in vitro antioxidant activity was quantified by different in vitro assay. The same parameters were tested during storage in controlled conditions.
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Scientists found that the DBD cold plasma treatments promoted an immediate loss of pigment and visual quality on fresh-cut kiwifruit but positively influenced the quality maintenance of the product, by improving colour retention and reducing the darkened area formation over storage time in controlled conditions. In addition, although DBD cold plasma treatment had an effect in increasing dry matter content over storage, it did not induced any textural changes compared with the control. In general, no significant changes in antioxidants (ascorbic acid and polyphenols) content and antioxidant activity were observed among treated samples and control ones.
Scientists say: "In this direction the purposed DBD plasma treatment is a very promising tool to preserve the quality of fresh-cut kiwifruit. Further studies will be necessary to confirm the sanitising effect of DBD plasma already showed for different commodities on fresh-cut kiwifruit and the eventual sensorial properties modification induced by the treatment."
Source: Ileana Ramazzina, Annachiara Berardinelli, Federica Rizzi, Silvia Tappi, Luigi Ragni, Giampiero Sacchetti, Pietro Rocculi, 'Effect of cold plasma treatment on physico-chemical parameters and antioxidant activity of minimally processed kiwifruit', September 2015, Postharvest Biology and Technology, Vol. 107, pages 55–65.
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna
Piazza Goidanich 60
47521 Cesena (FC), Italy
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