Inderscience Publishers

Chemical dips and edible coatings to retard softening and browning of fresh-cut banana

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The effects of chemical dips and edible coatings on firmness and colour of fresh-cut banana (cv. Cavendish) from Madeira Island were investigated. Two calcium salts, calcium chloride and calcium lactate, were first investigated for the effects on firmness during four days of storage at 5°C. Firmness and colour were evaluated after a three-minute chemical dipping or chemical dipping followed by coating and during five days of storage at 5°C. The coatings tested consisted of pectin, alginate, carboxymethylcelullose, carrageenan or chitosan solution. Dip with 1% (w/v) calcium chloride, 0.50% (w/v) ascorbic acid and 0.75% (w/v) cysteine was the most efficient treatment in retarding softening and browning of banana slices. This dip also inhibited yeast growth. According to sensory analysis, the edible shelf life of banana slices dipped in such solution was the longest: five days at 5°C. Carrageenan solution was the significantly (p < 0.05) best coating among the ones studied, in preserving firmness and colour of fresh-cut banana during five days at 5°C.

Keywords: fresh-cut bananas, chemical dips, edible coatings, firmness, colour, banana softening, banana browning, Madeira, storage, calcium chloride, calcium lactate, yeast growth, shelf life, postharvest technology

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