University of California

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Nutritional Quality of Fresh-cut Products

GUSTAVO GONZALEZ-AGUILARCENTER OF FOOD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The sales in fresh-cut (FC) produce is one of the major growing segments in food retail establishments and some are the main components of a healthy diet. Fresh-cut fruits contain many nutritional components such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, minerals, organic acids, and some pigments, vitamins and antioxidants. Especially antioxidants have been associated with the prevention of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, among others. FC fruits are relatively low in calories and fat, they have no cholesterol and relatively low in sodium and high in potassium. The nutritional value of fruits-cut fruits depends on their composition, which shows a wide range of variation depending on the species, cultivar and maturity stage. Different metabolites are present FC fruits and are more available than that of whole fruits. After ingestion they are released absorbed and have different physiological roles in the body, being some of particular interest. Pre-harvest and postharvest treatments affects the nutritional value of these fruits. During maturation, storage and marketing, some biochemical and physiological changes and microbiological growth occurs leading in nutritional loss. The most important techniques used to prevent FC fruits disorders and the possible mode of action, will be discussed. The effects of these compounds on human nutrition and health are highlighted, exploring the mechanisms involved in their protective actions. The most important presentations of FC fruits available in the market, processing techniques and packaging used to prevent nutritional losses will be present.

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