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Navarro-Rico J.,Technical University of Cartagena | Martinez-Hernandez G.B.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes-Hernandez F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Gomez P.A.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Traditionally, edible coatings have been used as a barrier to minimize water loss and retard the natural senescence of horticultural products through selective permeability to gases. In this work, the effect of two edible coatings on quality of fresh-cut 'Bimi' broccoli during shelf life was studied. The broccoli was sanitized under neutral electrolyzed water (NEW) (ORP=900 mV; 5°C; pH=7; contact time= 2 min). Two edible coatings were applied: Naturcover® (5% of sucroesters) and sodium alginate (2 g/100 ml) using glycerol as plasticizer and sunflower oil as emulsifier (contact time: 1 min; drying time: 1min). The product was then stored under modified atmosphere packaging throughout 15 days at 5°C. As control, washing with cold tap water and no coating was used. The colour, sensory quality and microbial loads (mesophilic, enterobacteria and yeasts and moulds) evolution throughout shelf life was studied. The equilibrium gas partial pressure was 12-14 kPa CO2 and 9-12 kPa O2 reached after 5-6 days. No colour differences were observed among treatments. The microbial loads ranged between 4 and 7 CFU g-1 during shelf-life for the three microorganism groups analysed. After 15 days at 5°C, broccoli samples coated with Naturcover® showed the best sensory scores. As main conclusion, fresh-cut 'Bimi' broccoli coated with Naturcover® showed better quality than that coated with sodium alginate and control samples during shelf life.


Rodriguez-Hidalgo S.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Fernandez J.A.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes-Hernandez F.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Gomez P.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Artes F.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

The purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) is an annual crop with fresh succulent leaves often consumed in salads which contain high levels of biologically active compounds. The innovative cultivation system under floating trays allows obtaining clean, safe and high quality raw material for the minimal processing or fresh-cut vegetables industry. In addition, it is relatively cheap and easy to implement at commercial level, being an efficient system to produce leafy vegetables. There are very scarce studies about the postharvest quality changes of minimally processed baby leaves grown under this cultivation system. The aim of this work was to study the sensory and microbial quality and total antioxidant capacity changes during shelf life of purslane grown in floating trays system with two aeration levels. After manual harvest, the raw material was pre-washed with tap water at 5°C, and subsequently it was washed for 2 min and disinfected by immersion in a solution at 5°C with 100 ppm NaClO at pH 6.5. As control, a 2 min tap water washing at 5°C was done. Then, the purslane was spin dried to eliminate water excess. The final product was packed under passive modified atmosphere packaging in polypropylene baskets, top sealed with a bi-oriented polypropylene and stored up to 10 days at 5°C. The steady state atmosphere within all baskets was 11-13 kPa O2 and 8-10 kPa CO2 which was reached after 7 days. The total antioxidant capacity decreased up to 10-20% in all treatments regarding the initial values (11-13 mg ascorbic acid eq. kg-1 fw). The initial mesophilic counts were 2-3 log cfu.g-1, and after 10 days at 5°C it remained below the legal limits for safe consumption, without differences among treatments. The sensory quality parameters changes determined a shelf life of 10 days at 5°C. As main conclusion, floating trays were a good system for cultivation of purslane as raw material for the minimal processing industry due to the low initial microbial load, which can avoid or reduce the use of chemical disinfectants and will preserve the overall quality.


Dos-Santos N.,Technical University of Cartagena | Dos-Santos N.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Bueso M.C.,CMN | Fernandez-Trujillo J.P.,Technical University of Cartagena | Fernandez-Trujillo J.P.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology
Food Research International | Year: 2013

The texture and aroma volatiles of two non-climacteric near-isogenic lines (NILs) of melon (Cucumis melo L.), SC10-2 and SC7-1, containing introgressions of the Korean cultivar 'Shongwan Charmi' accession PI161375 (SC) in the Spanish cultivar 'Piel de Sapo' (PS) were studied. Data were examined using different supervised and unsupervised univariate and multivariate statistical techniques in order to determine the aroma volatiles most closely associated with differences in melon texture. SC10-2 showed 65% higher flesh firmness, a higher level of pellet juice content and lower flesh juiciness than PS and was harvested at least 7. days later. In SC7-1, only the textural trait, whole fruit hardness, was lower (by 34%) than in PS. About eleven quantitative trait loci for aroma volatiles were mapped in linkage group VII and other nineteen in group X. The aroma compounds discriminated SC10-2 from PS better than SC7-1, as revealed by Partial least squares-discriminant analysis and, to a lesser extent, by Random forest analysis. Around seven aroma volatile compounds, mostly ketones, aldehydes and alcohols, consistently lent support to the discrimination irrespective of the methodology used. Higher levels of several aldehydes (e.g. 2,4-dimethylbenzaldehyde, 2-methylpropanal and 2-methylbutanal), not present in PS, discriminated SC10-2 from PS. Also, SC10-2 lacked some ketones (e.g. 1-phenylethanone), alcohols (e.g. 1-phenylethanol) and one acid (e.g. 2-phenylpropanoic acid) compared with higher content in PS. The former aldehydes and other compounds, such as 3-methylsulfanylpropanal, were the volatiles with the closest association with flesh firmness and harvest, and form part of the phenylalanine, leucine, valine, isoleucine or methionine metabolism and the benzenoid biosynthetic pathway. A negative correlation with the former discriminative compounds of SC7-1 and PS and whole fruit hardness was established. SC7-1 stood out mainly for its higher content of one sulfur-derived compound (S-methyl ethanethioate), one acetate ester (benzyl acetate) and two alcohols (octan-1-ol and (2R, 3S)-3-ethylheptan-2-ol) compared with PS, and one ketone (pentane-2,3-dione), which was absent in PS, but none of these were associated with flesh textural traits. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Martinez-Hernandez G.B.,Technical University of Cartagena | Gomez P.A.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Pradas I.,IFAPA Centro del Llano | Artes F.,Technical University of Cartagena | And 3 more authors.
Postharvest Biology and Technology | Year: 2011

The effects of several UV-C pre-treatments (1.5, 4.5, 9.0 and 15kJm-2) on changes in physiological, sensory and microbial quality and health promoting bioactive compounds over 19 days at 5 and 10°C of fresh-cut Bimi® broccoli were studied. Non-irradiated samples were used as controls. Bimi® broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica Group×Alboglabra Group) is characterised by a long stem with a small floret with a mild and sweeter flavor than conventional varieties well adapted for fresh-cut purposes. Low and moderate UV-C doses (1.5 and 4.5kJm-2) had inhibitory effects on natural microflora growth. In relation to sensory quality, all treatments resulted in a shelf-life of 19 and 13 days at 5 and 10°C respectively with the exception of 15kJ UV-Cm-2 treated samples which resulted in a shorter shelf-life. These doses immediately increased total polyphenols contents up to 25% after 19 days at 5°C compared to the initial value. All the hydroxycinnamoyl acid derivates were immediately increased after UV-C treatments, with values 4.8- and 4.5-fold higher for 4.5 and 9.0kJ UV-Cm-2 treated samples respectively over the control. Changes in phenolic compounds were highly influenced by the storage temperature throughout shelf-life. Total antioxidant activity generally followed the same pattern: the higher the UV-C doses, the higher total antioxidant capacity values. Generally, UV-C slightly reduced initial total chlorophyll content but delayed its degradation throughout shelf-life. It is concluded that a pre-treatment of 4.5kJ UV-Cm-2 is useful as a technique to improve epiphytic microbial quality and health promoting bioactive compounds of fresh-cut Bimi® broccoli. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Falagan N.,Technical University of Cartagena | Falagan N.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | Artes F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes F.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology | And 6 more authors.
Postharvest Biology and Technology | Year: 2015

A comparative study of fresh extra early 'VioWhite 5' nectarines, cultivated under long-term regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies and stored under cold conditions, combined or not with a controlled atmosphere (CA; 3-4kPa O2 and 12-14kPa CO2) or 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; 1.25μLL-1, 24h, 0°C), was performed. These strategies were: (i) non-deficit-irrigation (NDI), irrigated at 110% of maximum crop evapotranspiration (ETC) during the whole season; (ii) RDI1, irrigated at 110% ETc during critical periods of growth and at 85% of NDI during the rest of the growing season; (iii) RDI2, irrigated at 110% ETc during critical periods of growth and at 80 and 60% NDI during the second fruit growth stage in March and late postharvest, respectively. Quality factors and biochemical parameters were monitored. In general, RDI2 reached higher sensory evaluation scores mainly due to the higher soluble solids content. Weight loss was higher in air-stored nectarines with faster changes in firmness and color. The combination of cold storage with CA or 1-MCP better maintained the initial content of bioactive compounds. This fact highly correlated with soluble phenolic content, showing the involvement of phenolic compounds in the antioxidant activity of nectarines. A correlation between dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) concentration and stress were also found, resulting in the ability of using DHA concentration as a stress biomarker. The cultivation of extra early nectarines under RDI2 combined with the 1-MCP postharvest treatment was the best method for improving and maintaining overall quality while saving a notable amount of water (2050m3/ha and year). © 2015 Elsevier B.V..

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