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Timing of calcium treatment on resistance of raw and canned diced tomatoes to mechanical abuse

Rao, S.N., Barringer, S.A.
Journal of food processing and preservation 2005 v.29 no.1 pp. 1-7
tomatoes, raw vegetables, cutting, canned vegetables, calcium chloride, food additives, dipping, food quality, firmness, shear strength, appearance (quality), texture, mechanical damage
Tomato dices are typically treated with calcium (Ca) to increase firmness and resistance to mechanical abuse. However, studies have not examined when the application of Ca would provide the greatest protection and result in the greatest firmness. Tomato (cv. P696) dices were dipped in a 600 mg/L calcium chloride (CaCl2) solution either before or after undergoing mechanical abuse for 0-240 s in a rotary drum. The drained weight and firmness, which were measured using a Kramer shear cell (Instron Corp., Canton, MA), did not depend on whether Ca was added before or after the mechanical abuse. However, sensory evaluation showed that the panelists preferred the diced tomatoes that were dipped in Ca before undergoing mechanical abuse. These tomato dices appeared to have a larger percentage of undamaged dices, while those that were mechanically abused before dipping in Ca appeared ragged and mushy because of a collapsed structure. Therefore, although there was no significant difference in the drained weight or texture obtained by instrumental measurement, dices that are dipped in Ca before undergoing mechanical abuse appear less damaged to consumers.