Aim: To establish whether or not carvacrol and cinnamic acid delay microbial spoilage of fresh-cut fruit.
Methods and Results: Dipping of fresh-cut kiwifruit in carvacrol solutions at 5–15 mM reduced total viable counts from 6·6 to < 2 log cfu g −1 for 21 d at 4°C; however, undesirable colour and odour changes were also observed. Treatment with 1 mM of carvacrol or cinnamic acid reduced viable counts on kiwifruit by 4 and 1·5 log cfu g −1 for 5 d at 4°C and 8°C, respectively. Treatment of fresh-cut honeydew melon with 1 mM of carvacrol or cinnamic acid extended the lag phase of the microbial flora from less than 1 d in the untreated controls to 3 d at 8°C and 5 d at 4°C. Viable counts on the treated melon were 6 log cfu g −1 lower on Day 3 at 8°C and 4 log cfu g −1 lower on Day 5 at 4°C, compared with the untreated controls.
Impact of the Study: Treatment with 1 mM of carvacrol or cinnamic acid delays spoilage of fresh-cut kiwifruit and honeydew melon at chill temperatures without adverse sensory consequences.