Partial Processing Of Fresh Produce

Postharvest processing operations on fresh produce are essentially limited to those that take place prior to blanching. Thus, enzyme systems remain functional, and abundant microflora are present on minimally processed produce at the time it is packaged. Food processing operations and treatments applied to fresh-cut produce include chilling, washing, peeling, coring, slicing/cutting, acidified chlorine solution immersion, applications of antioxidants/ firming agents/antimicrobials, and dewatering via centri-fugation. Obviously many of these operations cause stress or damage to the plant tissue, shortening its shelf life. Furthermore, despite the sanitizing treatments carried out during fresh-cut processing, surviving psychotrophic microorganisms can thrive at damaged tissue sites even under refrigeration.

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