Browning of fresh-cut produce: influencing factors and control technologies

T. Dong, Q. Wang
Browning is a major issue affecting the quality and shelf life of some fresh-cut produce. This paper provides an overview of the research progress in the development of enzymatic browning and its control. Preharvest, postharvest, processing and post-cut factors all influence the occurrence of the browning. The selection, breeding and engineering of cultivars and varieties resistant to browning is an excellent approach. However, such cultivars and varieties are often not available, either due to a shortage of the anti-browning variety with good quality and other production characteristics or due to perceived the safety concerns. In addition to variety, maturity, other preharvest factors, and postharvest storage factors also impact and rate and severity of browning. Pre-cutting treatments to improve the anti-browning capabilities is another approach. In our laboratory, pre-cut sodium chloride, warming, heat shock, pre-cut wounding, curing after harvest, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hypobaric treatments have all been tested. While some of the treatments probably have no post-cutting anti-browning efficacy, the pre-cut treatments are effective to inhibit the browning. Post-cutting treatments to inhibit browning are frequently used by the fresh-cut industry; amino acids and new anti-browning compounds, cutting technologies, temperature control, and packaging can all impact browning. The control mechanisms include changes in the contents of browning substrates, which result from the differences in transcript levels of some genes, enzyme activity and/or metabolites. Based on new mechanisms and new biological techniques, innovative browning control measures may be developed in the future. Currently, however, for most fresh-cut produce, combinations of several techniques are good and practical ways to control the browning.
Dong, T. and Wang, Q. (2021). Browning of fresh-cut produce: influencing factors and control technologies. Acta Hortic. 1319, 47-58
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1319.6
fresh-cut, browning, factors, technology, phenolic metabolism

Acta Horticulturae