American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Effect of Different Sanitizers on Microbial, Sensory and Nutritional Quality of Fresh-Cut Jalapeno Peppers

Saul Ruiz-Cruz, Emilio Alvarez-Parrilla, Laura A. de la Rosa, Alejandra I. Martinez-Gonzalez, Jose de Jesus Ornelas-Paz, Ana Maria Mendoza-Wilson and Gustavo A. Gonzalez-Aguilar

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2010.331.341

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 3

Pages 331-341

Abstract

Problem statement: Sanitation is a critical step to insure safety of fresh-cut produce. The inadequacies of chlorine, currently used as a sanitizer, have stimulated interest in finding safer, more effective sanitizers, however little is known on the impact of these novel sanitizers on sensory and nutrimental quality of the treated products. Approach: The effect of four sanitizers: Sodium hypochlorite (OCl), Peroxiacetic Acid (PA), Acidified Sodium Chlorite (ASC) and carvacrol on microbiological, sensorial and nutritional quality (total phenols, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity) of fresh-cut jalapeno peppers stored at 5°C during 27 days was evaluated. Results: All sanitizers (except carvacrol) maintained microbiological and overall quality of jalapeno peppers during 27 days. ASC (500 and 250 mg L-1) maintained the best microbiological and sensorial properties at the end of the storage period. Carvacrol, active ingredient of oregano essential oil, maintained shelf life for only 17 days. At the end of the storage period, all treatments showed a decrease of 12-43% respect to the initial vitamin C values. Total phenols and antioxidant capacity decreased in a lesser degree. None of the treatments except ACS 500 mg L-1, induced higher losses of vitamin C, total phenols or antioxidant capacity compared to control. Conclusion: Our results showed that all sanitizers were capable of controlling microbial growth without inducing major loss of antioxidant capacity and photochemical. Carvacrol was the only sanitizer that reduced sensory acceptability of fresh-cut jalapeno peppers, however carvacrol treated samples retained the highest levels of photochemical and antioxidant capacity. ASC was the most effective sanitizer even though it was used at concentrations lower that those currently approved by the FDA.

Copyright

© 2010 Saul Ruiz-Cruz, Emilio Alvarez-Parrilla, Laura A. de la Rosa, Alejandra I. Martinez-Gonzalez, Jose de Jesus Ornelas-Paz, Ana Maria Mendoza-Wilson and Gustavo A. Gonzalez-Aguilar. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.