University of California

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Sensory and physico-chemical characteristics of minimally processed tubers from “early” potato crops as affected by anti-browning dipping treatment and cultivar

Anita Ierna ( IVALSA, CNR, Section of Catania), Alessandra Pellegrino ( IVALSA, CNR, Section of Catania) , Isabella Di Silvestro ( ISAFOM, CNR, Section of Catania), Marina Buccheri (IAA, CREA, Milan)

Potato production in several Mediterranean countries is focused on the “early ” crop type. Due to the lack of data in literature on the qualitative traits of minimally processed “early” potatoes, we studied the effects of 3 anti-browning dipping treatments (sterile deionized water - SW; 0.2 % sodium bisulphite -SB as is usually used in the fresh –cut potato industry; 2.5% ascorbic acid + 2.5% citric acid -AA+CA) on the physico-chemical and sensory characteristics of tubers from eight cultivars (Antea, Arinda, Ditta, Liseta, Marabel, Matador, Mondial and Spunta) widely grown in the Mediterranean basin. Slices were packaged in pouches (15 cm x 20 cm) of PAPE 85 µm of layer- film selected since it is commonly used in the minimally processed potato industry- under passive modified atmosphere, stored at 8 ±1 degrees C. Overall, potatoes dipped in AA+CA solution allowed to obtaining in comparison to sulphited potatoes a better minimally processed product due to higher citric acid content (4.3 vs 2.9 mg 100 g-1 DM), ascorbic acid content (21.5 vs 12.2 mg 100 g-1 FW), antioxidant activity (41 vs 14 DPPH % reduction) and sensory characteristics (less browing and off-odour, more firm texture) . The best performances were shown by Arinda, Matador and Spunta, whereas Antea and Ditta appeared not suitable for minimally processed potatoes. Liseta, Marabel and Mondial provided an acceptable product . These results highlighted how the cultivar choice is a key aspect determining the overall quality of the minimally processed “early” tubers.

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