Keywords: ascorbic acid, calcium chloride, cysteine, citric acid, ascorbate, chemical treatment, apple conservation, minimal processing, Gala apples, additives, apple quality, refrigerated storage, postharvest technology
Use of chemical treatments for conservation of minimally processed 'Gala' apples
The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of additives on keeping the quality of minimally processed 'Gala' apple. The minimum process consisted of washing, sanitising and removing the central part of the fruit. Then, sticks of apple were obtained and immersed in the following solutions: control (2% ascorbic acid), ascorbic acid 2% + calcium chloride 2%, sodium ascorbate 2%, citric acid 1% and L–cysteine hydrochloride 1%. They were stored in polypropylene trays with lid, stored in a cold chamber at 5°C for 12 days and assessed every three days. The following variables were evaluated: appearance, weight loss, soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, total soluble sugars, antioxidant activity, phenolic compounds and search for total and fecal coliforms. All treatments were effective to maintain the quality of minimally processed apples until the sixth day of refrigerated storage.