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New methods for maintaining the quality of minimally processed potatoes for 14 days

Date: 17.11.2014 

Gloria Bobo-García, a graduate in Food Science and Technology, has proposed in her PhD thesis alternatives to the use of sulphites in potatoes, one of the main preservatives currently used and which, among other properties, prevents the browning that appears after peeling and/or cutting certain foods. Today, one speaks of fourth range or minimally processed products to refer to fresh fruit and vegetables that have been washed, cut up and packaged before they are marketed.

As this researcher explained, “a few years ago it was discovered that sulphites could cause health problems in certain sectors of the population, so their use was banned in foods that could be consumed directly, like fruit and vegetables. In the case of potatoes, which are not eaten raw, sulphites continue to be used, so my thesis has focussed on finding alternative substances”.

The thesis is entitled “Estudio de estrategias para la conservación de patatas (cv.Monalisa) mínimamente procesadas” (Study of strategies to preserve minimally processed potatoes [cv. Monalisa]). The study assessed various preserving techniques as alternatives to the use of sulphites to maintain the quality of minimally processed potatoes stored for a fortnight at 4 degrees Celsius. To prevent the product turning brown, natural solutions and/or their by-products were used. When monitoring the browning, the results indicated that “both the solution combining 4-Hexylresorcinol with ascorbic acid and the extracts of green tea and garlic studied can be used as anti-browning agents for preservation purposes in a refrigerated state over a 14-day period”. As regards the texture modifiers studied, used in combination with the selected anti-browning solution, “a short, low-temperature thermal shock was used which maintained product quality over at least 14 days”.

Author: Victoria Alfonso Seminario, Universidad Pública de Navarra

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NotesGloria Bobo-García did Agricultural Engineering at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and graduated in Food Science and Technology at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country. She obtained a technologist training grant from the Department of Industry of the Government of Navarre and later collaborated on a project in the NUP/UPNA's Department of Food Technology. In the field of her research, she has attended various national and international congresses and is the author of an article published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.Internet reference www.unavarra.es/actualidad/berriak?contentId=185646 

ReferencesBobo-García, G., Davidov-Pardo, G., Arroqui, C., Vírseda, P., Marín-Arroyo, M.R., Navarro, M. (2014). Intralaboratory validation of microplate methods for total phenolic content and antioxidant activity on polyphenolic extracts, and comparison with conventional spectrophotometric method. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. (published on-line).




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