Optimising packaging conditions of fresh-cut nectarine
Fresh-cut peach and nectarine slices have great market potential, but currently their success is limited due to their short shelf life thanks to cut surface browning, flesh softening and pit cavity breakdown. Research so far has been primarily focused on treatments capable to avoid these quality problems. The aim of this study was to optimise packaging conditions (films, packaging atmospheres, etc.) that can further improve the quality of fresh-cut nectarine by extending its shelf life and microbial safety. As preharvest conditions greatly influence the quality of the fresh-cut products, nectarines from different origins have been studied. A combination of a texture enhancing agent (calcium chloride), an antioxidant agent (ascorbic acid) and an antimicrobial compound (citric acid) has been included into the dip formulation that was used following the cutting operation in order to maintain the prime quality and microbial safety of the nectarine slices. The product has been packed in films with different permeability for gases and water (with or without anti-mist coating) and stored for 15 days at 4°C. The quality of the fresh-cut nectarine was judged at three day intervals during storage using instrumental (colour of cut surfaces, texture, soluble solid content, microbial counts, etc.) and sensorial tests. Results show that films with lower permeability can better retain the original colour and reduce the microbial load of the slices by establishing a favourable headspace gas composition within three days of packaging.
Róth, E., Barriobero, J., Ozcoz, B., Mir-Bel, J. and López, R. (2018). Optimising packaging conditions of fresh-cut nectarine. Acta Hortic. 1209, 87-94
nectarine, fresh-cut, films, shelf life, packaging