• texture;
  • carrot;
  • freezing rate;
  • transmission electron microscopy

ABSTRACT: The impact of blanching and freezing conditions on firmness retention and ultrastructural changes in the cell wall and middle lamella of carrot tissues were studied. Freezing caused extensive degradation of cell wall pectins as evident from the rapid loss in tissue firmness. High-temperature short-time blanching (100°C, 0.58 min.; 90°C, 2.12 min.) retained firmer texture than low temperature long time blanching (80°C, 11.64 min.; 70°C, 71.1 min.). Freezing at rapid rates of -4.5°C/min and -2.4°C/min showed less softening than slow rates of -0.19°C/min and -0.05°C/min. Softening was further enhanced in blanched-frozen carrots. Severe structural damage due to growing ice crystals and substantial loss of pectic material were seen at slower freezing rates.