Effective combination treatments in maintaining the quality and extend the storage life of freshly peeled onion
Zaulia O., Azhar M. N., Muhd Amin R., Razali M., Nur Aida M. P., Bizura Hasida M. R., Latifah, M.N., Wan Mohd Reza Ikwan W.H., Nur Azlin R., Nur Syafini G., Siti Aisyah A., Joanna C.L.Y., Habsah M., Syed Abas S.A.R., Hairiyah M., Zaipun M. Z., Tham S.L., Mohamad Fikkri A.H. , Ismail M., Zainab M.Y. and Siti Khuzaimah T. Horticulture Research Centre, MARDI Headquarters, Persiaran MARDI-UPM, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
High quality and long storage life of peeled onion can reduce post-harvest losses significantly and improve food safety. Freshly peeled onion is convenient, ready to eat, ready to process or ready to cook and very useful for food services and processing industries to help facilitate and expedite the processing and preparation of food as well as optimizing the use of labour. However peeled onion without proper technology has a short storage life (1-2 weeks) due to rooting, sprouting and fungus growth, discolouration and development of strong off-odour.Combination treatments to produce high quality peeled onion resulted from various studies to prolong storage life from 1-2 weeks to 8 weeks at 2 degrees C. Combination treatments involved various factors including the use of high quality raw materials, skin peeling, washing, trimming (double trimming), drying (spinning), treatment (UVC and ethylene absorber), use of the most suitable packaging (retail - polypropylene, bulk-0.04mm LDPE ) and active packaging materials (ethylene absorber), the optimum storage temperature (2 degrees C), chilled and hygienic processing and storage area, skilled and trained workers and ensuring cold chain along the chain. Active packaging materials such as oxygen absorbers, ethylene absorbers, nanosilver packaging (1%) and UVC treatment (240nm, 5-10 min) were effective to slow down browning, root and shoot growth and fungal growth, and maintain colour and ascorbic acid content.