Inderscience Publishers

Preservation of fresh-cut 'Cavendish' banana coated with carrageenan and in controlled atmosphere

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The objective was to study the effect of two controlled atmosphere (CA) compositions – 3% O
2
and 6% CO
2
, and 3%O
2
and 10% CO
2
– on total counts of microorganisms at 30°C and 7°C, count of yeasts and moulds, count of enterobacteriaceae, and count of lactic acid bacteria of carrageenan coated fresh-cut 'Cavendish' banana. Bananas were previously submitted (or not) to a chemical dip of 1% calcium chloride, 0.5% ascorbic acid and 0.75% L-cystein. After a nine-day storage at 6°C, samples that had been chemically treated and submitted to CA with 10% CO
2
presented total aerobic plated count (at 30°C and 7°C), and yeasts and moulds count lower than other samples. The chemical dip improved the antimicrobial capacity of the coating associated to the controlled atmosphere conditioning, especially with 10% CO
2
. Fresh-cut banana coated with carrageenan and previously chemically treated (or not) was safe during the nine-day storage at 6°C, with microbial counts below the limits referred in the literature. It is important for food industry to know the best conditions for storage in order to produce safe products.

Keywords: ascorbic acid, carrageenan coating, calcium chloride, fresh-cut bananas, microbiology, controlled atmospheres, postharvest technology, cysteine, storage conditions, postharvest quality, microorganisms, yeasts, moulds, enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria

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