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Anti-browning agents for fresh cut fruit


Key words fruit, anti-browning agents, fresh, cut, PPO, oxidative browning
Latest version 2012/04/02
Completed by FRIP

How does it work?

Primary objective Inhibition of enzymatic browning and microorganism decay processes, thus prolonging the shelf life of fresh-cut fruit.
Working principle In general, fruit pieces are dipped in solutions containing one or more active compounds that prevent or control enzymatic browning. Oxidative browning is usually caused by the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) which, in the presence of O2, converts phenolic compounds in fruits and vegetables into dark colored pigments. Outlined below are a number of strategies that may be used to reduce PPO-induced discoloration:

Reduced O2: because PPO requires O2 to induce cut surface discoloration, reducing the amount of O2 in a package of fresh-cut product by vacuum MAP or gas flushing may reduce cut surface discoloration. Discoloration can not be prevented totally since too little O2 may cause anaerobic metabolism and production of off flavours and odours. Careful design of a fresh-cut package is essential to assure that the proper amount of O2 is present.

Acidification: PPO most effectively catalyses discoloration at neutral pH values (approximately 7). Therefore, browning can be reduced by dipping products in mildly acidic food grade solutions of acetic, ascorbic, citric, tartaric, fumaric or phosphoric acid.

Reducing Agents: ascorbic acid or erythorbate (an isomer of ascorbic acid) are two common compounds used in the food industry to prevent PPO-induced discoloration. Ascorbic acid and erythorbate reduce PPO-induced discoloration at the cut surface by converting quinones (formed by PPO from phenolics) back to phenolic compounds. Unfortunately, once all the ascorbic acid or erythorbate is exhausted, PPO browning will proceed uninhibited. Ascorbic acid or erythorbate are commonly used as 1% solutions. These compounds are organic acids, so they may also reduce surface pH of commodities, thus slowing browning. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]

Additional effects Enhanced microbial safety
Important process parameters type of agent, concentration, dose, time, temperature, MAP parameters, gas flushing
Important product parameters temperature, weight, cut surface

What can it be used for?

Products Fruits, vegetables, juices
Operations Stabilization before packaging of products
Solutions for short comings Control of discoloration is an important issue in fresh-cut fruit processing. Anti-browning agents are relative cheap compared to other techniques e.g. High pressure processing

What can it NOT be used for?

Other limitations Some acids may leave off flavours and promote tissue softening and therefore must be used with care. Ascorbic acid cause important oxidative damage of fruit [13]
Risks or hazards Vacuum packaging may include risks for harmful anaerobic microorganisms


Maturity This technology is used in food industry
Modularity /Implementation This technology can be normally included in the production line
Consumer aspects The appearance of a food product plays an important role for consumers, although there are consumers who want to avoid any type of food preservative. Consumer aspects depend on type of anti-browning agents. Some agents are beneficial, some are harmless.
Legal aspects Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives
Environmental aspects

Further Information

Institutes IRTA-Lleida, UTPV-CeRTA, Teagasc, Middle East Technical University, Agricultural Research Service
Companies Natural Biotechnology, NatureSeal, Airproducts
References [1] Beaulieu J.C., Gorny J.R. (2002): Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables, CRC Press, New York

[2] Yaguang Luo, Shengmin Lu, Bin Zhou, Hao Feng (2011): Dual effectiveness of sodium chlorite for enzymatic browning inhibition and microbial inactivation on fresh-cut apples, LWT - Food Science and Technology, 44: 1621-1625

[3] MARIA A. ROJAS-GRAÜ, ANGEL SOBRINO-LÓPEZ, MARIA SOLEDAD TAPIA AND OLGA MARTÍN-BELLOSO (2006): Browning Inhibition in Fresh-cut ‘Fuji’ Apple Slices by Natural Antibrowning Agents, JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, 71 (1): 59-65

[4] Jeong, H. L.,Jin, W. J., Kwang, D. M. and Kee, J. P. (2008): Effects of Anti-Browning Agents on Polyphenoloxidase Activity and Total Phenolics as Related to Browning of Fresh-Cut ‘Fuji’ Apple, ASEAN Food Journal, 15 (1): 79-87

[5] Fan X, Sokorai KJ, Liao CH, Cooke P, Zhang HQ (2009): Antibrowning and antimicrobial properties of sodium acid sulfate in apple slices, Journal of Food Science, 74(9): M485-92. [6] Rojas-Graü MA, Soliva-Fortuny R, Niartín-Belloso O. (2008): Effect of natural antibrowning agents on color and related enzymes in fresh-cut Fuji apples as an alternative to the use of ascorbic acid, Journal of Food Science, 73(6):S267-72 [7] Bierhals VS, Chiumarelli M, Hubinger MD. (2011): Effect of cassava starch coating on quality and shelf life of fresh-cut pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merril cv "Pérola"). Journal of Food Science, 76(1):E62-72.

[8] Oms-Oliu G., Soliva-Fortuny R., Martín-Belloso O. (2008): Edible coatings with antibrowning agents to maintain sensory quality and antioxidant properties of fresh-cut pears, Postharvest Biology and Technology, 50 (1): 87-94

[9] CHIABRANDO V., GIACALONE G.(2011): Effect of antibrowning agents on color and related enzymes in fresh-cut apples during cold storage, Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
[10] H. Özoğlu, A. Bayındırlı (2002): Inhibition of enzymic browning in cloudy apple juice with selected antibrowning agents, Food Control, 13 (4-5): 213-221

[11] Apintanapong M., Cheachuminang K., Sulansawan P, Thongprasert N. (2007): Effect of antibrowning agents on banana slices and vacuum-fried slices, Journal of Food Agriculture Environment, 5 (3-4): 151-157

[12] Garcia, E. and Barrett D.M. (2002): Preservative treatments for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. p. 267-303. IN: Olusola Lamikanra (ed.), Fresh-cut Fruits and Vegetables, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

[13]Larrigaudiere C., Ubach D., Soria Y., Rojas-Grau M.A., Martin-Belloso O. (2008): Oxidative behaviour of fresh-cut 'Fuji' apples treated with stabilising substances, Society of Chemical Industry., 88 (10): 1770-1776

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Created by LandfeldA on 2 April 2012, at 10:55