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Cinnamaldehyde Inhibits Enzymatic Browning of Cut Lettuce by Repressing the Induction of Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase without Promotion of Microbial Growth

Tanaka, Eriko, Okumura, Saya, Takamiya, Rikako, Hosaka, Hitomi, Shimamura, Yuko, Murata, Masatsune
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2011 v.59 no.12 pp. 6705-6709
biosynthesis, catechol oxidase, cold storage, cutting, enzymatic browning, heat, heat treatment, lettuce, messenger RNA, microbial growth, microorganisms, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase
Cinnamaldehyde treatment inhibited the browning of cut lettuce during cold storage. In this study, to clarify the mechanism of inhibitory action of cinnamaldehyde against the browning and to show its microbiological merit, its effect on the browning of cut lettuce was compared to that of mild heat treatment. Both cinnamaldehyde and mild heat treatments inhibited the induction of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity because of cutting. As a result, the biosynthesis of polyphenols, which are substrates of polyphenol oxidase, was inhibited. This reduction of polyphenol synthesis caused the inhibition of the browning. Cinnamaldehyde treatment repressed the induction of PAL mRNA, while mild heat treatment did not repress its induction. The increase in microbes in cut lettuce treated with cinnamaldehyde was less than that treated with mild heat after 12 days.