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Keywords:

  • Antioxidant activity;
  • hot-air treatment;
  • minimal processing;
  • modified atmosphere packaging;
  • Punica granatum L

Summary

The impact of heat treatment using hot air (HT 45 °C and 55 °C for 1 h) and two active modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) conditions of high oxygen atmosphere (HOA: 80 kPa O2, 20 kPa N2) and high CO2 atmosphere (HCA: 20 kPa CO2, 80 kPa N2), individually or combined, on the antioxidant capacity, polyphenols, vitamin C content, total anthocyanins, polyphenoloxydase (PPO) activity and shelf life of fresh-cut (FC) pomegranate arils stored for 14 days at 4 °C was studied. The results indicate that HT 45 °C along with HOA inhibited PPO activity and prevented loss of antioxidant capacity, vitamin C and phenolic compounds in arils, in comparison with control and HT 55 °C. All treatments reduced the accumulation of anthocyanins, but HCA-treated arils lost more anthocyanins besides having worse a* colour parameter values. No significant differences in titrable acidity (TA) and total soluble solids (TSS) were observed between treatments. The combination of HOA and HT 45 °C enhanced the benefits of applying each treatment separately and could be useful to improve and extend postharvest life of pomegranate FC arils.