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Keywords:

  • nutrients;
  • fruit;
  • vegetable;
  • preservation;
  • processing;
  • high pressure;
  • microwave

Abstract

Despite the recommendations of international health organizations and scientific research carried out around the world, consumers do not take in sufficient quantities of healthy fruit and vegetable products. The use of new, ‘advanced’ preservation methods creates a unique opportunity for food manufacturers to retain nutrient content similar to that found in fresh fruits and vegetables. This review presents a summary of the published literature regarding the potential of high-pressure and microwave preservation, the most studied of the ‘advanced’ processes, to retain the natural vitamin A, B, C, phenolic, mineral and fiber content in fruits and vegetables at the time of harvest. Comparisons are made with more traditional preservation methods that utilize thermal processing. Case studies on specific commodities which have received the most attention are highlighted; these include apples, carrots, oranges, tomatoes and spinach. In addition to summarizing the literature, the review includes a discussion of postharvest losses in general and factors affecting nutrient losses in fruits and vegetables. Recommendations are made for future research required to evaluate these advanced process methods. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry