Noelia Castillejo1, Ginés Benito Martínez-Hernández1,2, Perla A. Gómez2, Francisco Artés1,2, Encarna Aguayo1,2, Carmen Sánchez–Álvarez3 and Francisco Artés-Hernández1,21 Postharvest and Refrigeration Group. Department of Food Engineering. Technical University of Cartagena. Paseo Alfonso XIII, 48. 30203. Cartagena, Murcia, Spain.2 Institute of Plant Biotechnology. Technical University of Cartagena. Campus Muralla del Mar. 30202. Cartagena, Murcia, Spain.3 Nutrition Department. Hospital General Universitario Reina Sofía, Avda. Intendente Jorge Palacios, 1, 30003. Murcia. Spain.
The health-promoting benefits of the Mediterranean diet are related to fruits and vegetables intake, which are an important source of phytochemicals such phenolics, carotenoids and vitamin C among others. Smoothies are an excellent solution to ingest these health-promoting compounds in an easy way by increasing fruit and vegetables consumption. Two different green vegetables smoothies V1 (accounting tomato, carrot and spinach the 90 % of the composition) and V2 (90 % of cucumber and broccoli), were lightly processed with a mild heat treatment. Physicochemical properties, sensory analyses, and nutritional/bioactive (vitamin C, phenolics, antioxidant capacity, carotenoids and chlorophylls) and microbial quality of the smoothies were studied during 7 days at 5 or 20 degrees C. Generally, soluble solids content, pH and titratable acidity did not greatly changed after 7 days of storage at both temperatures. V2 smoothie registered lower microbial growth after 7 days with better sensory scores regarding V1. Initial total phenolic contents (28-30 mg gallic acid equivalent 100 g-1 fw) of both smoothies were well preserved during shelf life even at 20 degrees C with changes below 19%. Initial vitamin C contents (15-30 mg kg-1 fw) were remained quite stable throughout storage at 5 degrees C although storage at 20 degrees C induced reductions of 30-40 % after 7 days. Conclusively, the bioactive/nutritive properties of green vegetable smoothies did not greatly changed during refrigerated storage achieving V1 smoothie the best microbial and sensory qualities.