University of California

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Elucidating the Wound Signal Mechanism in Fresh-cut Produce: Scientific Implications and Opportunities for Practical Applications and Novel Technologies

Luis Cisneros-Zevallos (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

Here we elucidate for the first time the wounding signal mechanism in fresh-cut produce. When wounding takes place as part of the fresh-cut processing operation of fruits and vegetables, a series of responses are elicited by the wounding stress including accelerated metabolism, quality changes, shorter shelf-life, decrease in vitamin C and synthesis of secondary metabolites of nutraceutical importance. Here we identify the primary and secondary signals involved in the wound response using different plant species like lettuce and carrots. Overall, once wounding is applied in fresh-cut produce a redox imbalance takes place with reactive oxygen species (ROS) playing a major role as secondary signals. In this presentation we will show in detail the different signals involved and their mode of action, the role of calcium ions as well as NADPH oxidase as generator of superoxide radicals and their effects in secondary metabolism as well as quality changes. In addition, by elucidating the signaling mechanism we will revisit the status of the actual technologies being used by the fresh-cut industry in relation to processing operations and the technologies being used to control browning in fresh produce. Furthermore, we will propose alternative approaches either by modifying current technologies or proposing novel technologies to enhance the quality of fresh-cut produce and/or enhance their nutritional content.

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