Physico-chemical and microbiological quality of ready-to-eat rocket (Eruca vesicaria (L.) Cav.) treated with organic acids during storage in dark and light conditions
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The effect of alternative dipping solutions to chlorinated water was studied on qualitative parameters of ready-to-eat rocket: sanitised tap water, 1% of citric acid solution and a mixture of citric and ascorbic acids solution. After packaging in normal atmosphere, a monitoring of total bacterial count and physico-chemical parameters was carried out to 14 storage days in dark and light storage conditions. The dark exposure of the rocket leaves contributed to preserve a lower microbiological growth and the green color: light presence highly influenced total bacterial count and Hue angle (p < 0.01). Treatments with acids can be recommended to preserve antioxidant compounds and color leaves: this factor also influenced other studied parameters as acidity, total bacterial count, and antioxidant activity (p < 0.01). The studied alternative dipping solutions and the storage in darkness involved a better quality of rocket up to 14 days of shelf life respect the commercial shelf life of 7 days.
KeywordsAntioxidant activity Pre-treatments Quality Rocket Storage
This work was supported by the grant of MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research), Project PON03PE_00090_3 “Modelli sostenibili e nuove tecnologie per la valorizzazione delle filiere vegetali mediterranee”.
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Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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