Effects of equipments and processing conditions on quality of fresh-cut produce

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Francisca Aba Ansah
Maria Luisa Amodio *
Maria Lucia Valeria De Chiara
Giancarlo Colelli
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maria Luisa Amodio | marialuisa.amodio@unifg.it

Abstract

A wide range of fresh conveniently packaged, minimally processed products are available on both local and global market in response to consumer demand for ready to eat food. Majority of these products are leafy vegetables, which are highly susceptible to quality changes during minimal processing operations (trimming, cutting, washing, drying, and packaging). Despite the available precautionary measures for maintaining quality attributes of raw and processed material, quality degradation due to minimally processing is unavoidable, also considering that a peeling, trimming and/or cutting operation is always present except than for baby leaves and small fruits. In addition, other operations as washing and drying are known to cause mechanical stresses and loss of sugars and nutrients. However, the extent to which quality is compromised depends on the produce and on the processing conditions, including equipment and their operational settings. This review aims to describe the main processing operations and equipment used, resuming the available information on their impact on final quality of fresh-cut products over storage, in order to identify areas for future research aiming to the enhancement of product quality


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