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Effect of cold plasma treatment on physico-chemical parameters and antioxidant activity of minimally processed kiwifruit

Ramazzina, Ileana, Berardinelli, Annachiara, Rizzi, Federica, Tappi, Silvia, Ragni, Luigi, Sacchetti, Giampiero, Rocculi, Pietro
Postharvest biology and technology 2015 v.107 pp. 55-65
antioxidant activity, antioxidants, carotenoids, chlorophyll, cold, color, decontamination, fresh-cut produce, kiwifruit, monitoring, nutritive value, pigments, polyphenols, storage time, texture, vegetables
The efficacy of atmospheric plasma treatment on microbial decontamination of different kinds of food products is already known. Recently, new applications of this innovative technology have been proposed, in order to test the improvement of quality maintenance of minimally processed fruit and vegetables. Nevertheless, the knowledge on the modifications of functional and nutritional properties of minimally processed fruit is still scarce.The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of atmospheric double barrier discharge (DBD) plasma treatment on the quality maintenance of fresh-cut kiwifruit. Treatments of 10 and 20min per side were performed and their consequences were evaluated during four days of storage in controlled conditions by monitoring parameters related to visual quality, texture, chlorophyll, carotenoids and polyphenols. The in vitro antioxidant activity was evaluated through a multimodal approach, combining different assays for the analysis of antiradical activity and reducing activity of antioxidants. According to the obtained results, plasma treatments positively influenced the quality maintenance of the product, by improving colour retention and reducing the darkened area formation during storage, not inducing any textural change compared with the control. Plasma treatments caused an immediate slight loss of pigments, but a better retention during storage. No significant changes in antioxidants content and antioxidant activity were observed among treated samples and control ones.