Microstructural Changes During Steam Peeling of Fruits and Vegetables

Authors

  • JOHN D. FLOROS,

    1. Author Chinnan is with the Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Univ. of Georgia, Agricultural Experiment Station, Griffin, GA 30223–1797. Author Floros, formerly with the Univ. of Georgia, is now with the Dept. of Food Science, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907.
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  • MANJEET S. CHINNAN

    1. Author Chinnan is with the Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Univ. of Georgia, Agricultural Experiment Station, Griffin, GA 30223–1797. Author Floros, formerly with the Univ. of Georgia, is now with the Dept. of Food Science, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907.
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  • This work was supported by State and Hatch funds allocated to the Univ. of Georgia College of Agriculture Experiment Stations. The authors express their grateful appreciation to Professor E.K. Heaton, Dr. H.Y. Wetzstein, and Ms. H. David for helpful suggestions and technical assistance.

ABSTRACT

Microstructural changes of the fruit tissue during a steam-peeling process were studied and critically evaluated using pimiento pepper (Capsicum annum L. cv.‘Truhart’) as a model commodity. The high temperature of the steam resulted in melting and reorganization (phase transition) of the cuticular waxes on the surface of the fruit. Heat transfer increased the temperature inside the fruit, which in turn caused vaporization of the cell fluids, increased internal pressure, occurrence of various biochemical reactions (hydrolysis of carbohydrates, breakdown of pectins) and finally rupture of cell walls and separation of the skin. A possible mechanism of peeling is discussed and a multistage peeling process is introduced to improve product yields and reduce peeling losses.

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