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Keywords:

  • phenols;
  • browning;
  • ascorbic acid;
  • antioxidant activity;
  • PPO activity

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Artichoke is a rich source of bioactive compounds, mainly phenols, in the Mediterranean diet, but its consumption is limited by the complexity of time-consuming trimming operations. Fresh-cut processing would therefore add convenience to its consumption, even though the severity of post-cutting browning of artichoke pieces is still a major problem. Since susceptibility to browning may vary widely among genotypes, the choice of the cultivar is a very critical step in the fresh-cut process. In this study, five different Italian cultivars (C3, Catanese, Tema, Violetto Foggiano and Violetto Sardo) were screened for their initial quality and composition, and their post-cutting performance during storage at 5 °C and 20 °C.

RESULTS: C3 showed the highest phenol content (3.4 g GA kg−1) and antioxidant activity (24.5 mmol L−1 kg−1), but the worst quality in terms of appearance and colour changes, also due to its high PPO activity (62.2 U g−1). Catanese showed the highest vitamin C content (117.7 mg kg−1), the lowest phenol content (1.8 g GA kg−1), and the best post-cutting quality. Tema, Violetto Foggiano and Violetto Sardo showed an intermediate phenol content, the latter showing the lowest appearance score after C3.

CONCLUSION: These results confirmed the role of phenols in browning processes of fresh-cut artichokes, giving the first available information on artichoke cultivar suitability to be processed as a fresh-cut product. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry