Can calcium chloride or ascorbic acid be an effective pretreatment of minimally processed ‘Mauritius’ litchi?

T. Mphahlele, O.J. Caleb, K. Shadung, R.R. Mphahlele
Pericarp browning is one of the main constraints in retaining the red litchi colour. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) fumigation is currently being used in mitigating browning. However, SO2 changes fruit taste, and it is an allergen. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of calcium chloride and ascorbic acid pretreatments, dipping time, packaging type and storage duration on the quality attributes of fresh-cut litchi ‘Mauritius’. Experimental factors included: pretreatments (4% calcium chloride and 1% ascorbic acid), dipping times (3 and 10 min), packaging types (passive modified atmosphere packaging (PMAP) and clamshell trays) and storage duration (12 days at 0°C). Control samples were dipped in 0.02% sodium hypochlorite for 3 min. Litchi arils were pretreated, packaged, and stored at 0°C for 12 days and held at 10°C for two days for shelf life simulation. Least juice leakage and percentage weight loss were observed in control + PMAP at the end of cold storage and shelf life. There was no significant difference in arils’ firmness across all treatments until day nine. Arils dipped in ascorbic acid for 10 min and packed in clamshell had high pH on day 12. TSS:TA fluctuated throughout cold storage for all the treatments, while there was no significant difference in TSS:TA during shelf life (p=0.6845). Control fruit packed under PMAP had the least bacteria (4.37 log CFU g‑1) and yeast and mould (5.03 log CFU g‑1) count at the end of storage. The overall aril quality was better maintained by control treatment combined with PMAP.
Mphahlele, T., Caleb, O.J., Shadung, K. and Mphahlele, R.R. (2022). Can calcium chloride or ascorbic acid be an effective pretreatment of minimally processed ‘Mauritius’ litchi?. Acta Hortic. 1349, 301-310
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1349.42
minimally processed, pretreatment, dipping time, packaging type, storage duration

Acta Horticulturae