The effects of different chemical agents that retard browning were evaluated on the shelf life of minimally processed yacon. The tubers were immersed in solutions of cysteine hydrochloride, citric acid combined with ascorbic acid, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid/EDTA and sodium metabisulfite. Analysis of pH, total titratable acidity, soluble solids, water activity at 5°C and moisture at 5°C and 10°C for until 96 hours of storage were carried out. Colour and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity was also assessed. The samples showed statistically different physic–chemical properties, depending on the antioxidants used. The colour of the yacon was influenced by time, but the treatments were not different from one another. It was observed that the antioxidants used, except for EDTA, had a significant decrease in enzymatic activity of PPO compared to the control. The assessed antioxidants maintained the colour of the yacon, making their properties similar to those of fresh product.
Keywords: food products, Yacon, tubers, antioxidants, shelf life, Smallanthus sonchifolius, chemical agents, browning retardation, minimal processing, processed foods, cysteine hydrochloride, citric acid, ascorbic acid, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, EDTA, sodium metabisulfite, sodium metabisulphite, pH analysis, basicity, aqueous solutions, titratable acidity, soluble solids, water activity, moisture, plant storage, plant colour, polyphenol oxidase, PPO, physic–chemical properties, enzymatic activity, fresh products, Brazil, Andes, postharvest technology, innovation