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Shelf-life of minimally processed table grapes packed in snack-size containers

Nicolosi, E., Ferlito, F., Amenta, M., Rapisarda, P.
Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1209 pp. 417-424
antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, bacteria, carbon dioxide, cold, cold storage, color, containers, cultivars, firmness, fruits, microbiological quality, minimally processed foods, oxygen, packaging, phenolic compounds, polyethylene, salads, seedless varieties, shelf life, storage time, table grapes, Italy
Minimally processed table grapes have traditionally been used as a component of fruit salads, only recently the possibility to produce single-portion packages has been considered. The aim of the research was to assess the shelf-life of small size table grape clusters of some of the most popular cultivars in Italy such as 'Vittoria', 'Sugraone', 'Italia', 'Crimson Seedless', 'Red Globe' and 'Black Pearl' packed in polyethylene containers. After packaging, containers were stored at 4±1°C and physicochemical and microbiological parameters were monitored after 0, 7 and 15 days of storage. The berry firmness remained satisfactory until the 15th day of storage, especially in seedless cultivars such as 'Sugraone' and 'Crimson seedless'. Change in weight and color were absent for almost all cultivars. A significant increase of CO(2) and decrease of O(2) inside the packages were observed during the second week of storage. As known, CO(2) increase plays an important role in preventing the development of mesophilic bacteria. During the cold storage period, most of the quality parameters remained stable in all the cultivars. Ascorbic acid and total phenolic compounds content decreased, showing significant differences after 7 days of storage. Antioxidant activity showed a decline as seen for ascorbic acid and total phenolic compounds content. The results indicated the possibility of packaging small size clusters of table grape maintaining good quality parameters for a rather long period of storage without excessive reduction of the antioxidant activity of the product.