Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fresh-cut fruit is gaining popularity in the marketplace. Fresh-cut apples have been introduced and are a convenient lunch item for children. A consistent flavor quality of this value-added product is critical to the success of fresh-cut apples. This paper discusses the changes that occur in flavor and aromatic compounds in Gala apples during the shelf life period. Raw apple flavor actually increases during the first five days after preparation. Some off-flavors, such as fermented and vinegar, increase concurrently.
Technical Abstract: Our objective was to determine flavor quality changes in fresh-cut Gala apples packaged in film to modify the atmosphere during shelf life utilizing a trained flavor panel. Late season Gala apples were washed, cored, sliced, dipped in a browning inhibitor and packaged in a barrier film. After 0, 5, 9, 12 and 14 days' storage at 1.1 C, the apples were evaluated for descriptive flavor attributes, gas chromatographic volatiles sugar concentrations, pH and titratable acidity. Several flavor attributes, such as sweet aromatic and sweet taste had a quadratic trend with a maximum intensity between five and nine days. Meanwhile, sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose) remained constant during storage. Sour taste decreased in intensity between zero and five days, then increased to 14 days. Meanwhile, pH decreased between zero and nine days, then it remained constant. Titratable acidity changed very little during storage. Sweet aromatic flavor and sweet taste followed a quadratic trend with a maximum intensity between five and nine days. Of the GC volatiles monitored, most displayed no trend. Of these, only Ethyl-2-methyl-butanoate, Hexyl butyrate, Hexy1-2-methyl butanoate, Propyl hexanoate, Hexyl hexanoate and Farnescene changed due to storage. Results suggest that flavor of fresh cut apples increased the first few days after preparation and packaging, then dissipated. The flavor quality dropped greatly after nine days. Therefore, the window of consumption is favorable up to nine to 10 days.