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Keywords:

  • Freezing;
  • potatoes;
  • pulsed electric field;
  • quality;
  • texture

Summary

The combination of pulsed electric fields (PEF) and texturizing and antifreeze agents on quality retention of defrosted potato strips were studied. Potato strips (10 mm thickness, 100 g) were placed in different solutions (1% w/v) of CaCl2, glycerol, trehalose as well as NaCl and sucrose, treated with PEF (0.5 kV cm−1, 100 pulses, 4 Hz). Then, all the samples were soaked in the same solutions for 10 min. After draining, samples were packed into polypropylene pouches and stored at −18 °C for 12 h. Samples were thawed out at room temperature (20 °C) in 3 h. Untreated controls and PEF treated control samples were also frozen and thawed in similar conditions. To assess the potato strip quality, the thawed samples were analysed for moisture content, weight loss, firmness and colour attributes. The results indicate that PEF treatment by itself is not a suitable pre-treatment method for frozen potato strips and should be assisted by CaCl2 and trehalose treatment to prevent softening after defrosting. Firmness analyses determined that application of PEF alone results in 2.38 N. However, PEF in combination with CaCl2 and trehalose result in 2.97 N and 2.99 N, respectively, which are both significantly firmer than the samples solely treated with PEF. CaCl2 and trehalose were effective in not only maintaining the structural integrity of the cells, but also retaining colour attributes. The L* value was found to be higher (P < 0.05) in CaCl2 and trehalose treated samples (58.95 and 57.21, respectively), as compared to PEF treated samples (53.97) denoting a darker colour. Application of CaCl2 and trehalsoe in combination with PEF also resulted in significantly less weight loss after thawing.