Article

Effect of UV-C radiation on quality of minimally processed spinach leaves

Journal ar
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
  • Volumen: 89
  • Número: 3
  • Fecha: 01 February 2009
  • Páginas: 414-421
  • ISSN: 00225142 10970010
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.3460
  • Document Type: Article
BACKGROUND: The fresh-cut vegetable industry commonly uses sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) for disinfection. However, certain problems with NaOCl usage have led to the investigation of alternative sanitisation treatments. In this respect, UV-C radiation could be of interest. RESULTS: The effect of four pre-packaging UV-C radiation doses (0,4.54,7.94 and 11.35 kJ m-2) and two storage temperatures (5 and 8 °C) on the quality of minimally processed spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) leaves was studied over a period of 13 days. UV-C radiation decreased mesophilic and psychrophilic counts just after its application compared with conventional sanitisation washing (150 mg L -1 NaOCl). However, UV-C had no residual effect on microbial growth from 6 to 13 days at 5 and 8 °C. During shelf-life a slight loss of lightness was found, probably related to superficial tissue damage induced particularly in higher-UV-C treated leaves. Total antioxidant activity and polyphenol content decreased gradually throughout storage, being more evident in higher-UV-C treated leaves stored at 8 °C. The general trend was to maintain the initial chlorophyll content during shelf-life. CONCLUSION: Low to moderate UV-C radiation can be an effective alternative to chlorine for sanitising minimally processed spinach leaves and preserving their quality. © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry.

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