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Discoloration in Raw and Processed Fruits and Vegetables

Discoloration in fruits and vegetables is reviewed in relation to the chemical and biochemical causes of black, brown, red, yellow, and green discolorations. In raw materials, only a limited understanding has so far been achieved of the internal black and brown discolorations. The biochemical signaling pathways triggered by wounding or chilling-storage, the nature of the enzymes and reactive oxygen species involved, and the identity of the phenolic compounds oxidized are areas where further information is desirable.

In processed materials, a greater comprehension is needed of the role of ascorbic acid reactions in the browning of fruits and "pinking" of Brassicaceous vegetables, and more information is desirable on the structure and properties of the discoloring pigments in many products. It is concluded that a greater knowledge of these areas, and of the naturally-occurring constituents that can accelerate or inhibit the causative reactions, would lead to the development of more efficient methods of controlling fruit and vegetable discolorations.

Keywords blackening, browning, reddening, yellowing, greening

Discolorations that bear little resemblance to the expected color of fruits and vegetables have a major impact on saleable quality, yet the reactions leading to these discolorations are often only partly comprehended, or are inferred from other evidence. This is due to the inherent complexity of the reactions involved, to the variability in raw material, and to the practical difficulties in isolating and characterizing the newly-formed pigments.

Read further: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Publication date: 4/24/2007
Author: Pieter Boekhout


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