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Keywords:

  • chitosan coating;
  • strawberry (Fragria ananassa);
  • sensory;
  • consumer test;
  • free-choice profiling method

ABSTRACT: Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) are highly perishable and characterized by a short shelf-life. Chitosan has been found to be an ideal preservative coating material for fresh berries due to its antifungal and film-forming properties. However, acid-dissolved chitosan solutions develop bitterness and astringency tastes, making chitosancoated foods less practical on the real market. Three 1% chitosan-based solutions were developed for coating strawberries: chitosan in 0.6% acetic acid solution, in 0.6% lactic acid solution, and in 0.6% lactic acid solution plus 0.2% vitamin E. Coated strawberries were packed in clam-shell boxes and stored at 2°C and approximately 88% to 89% RH for 1 wk, at which time they were evaluated by consumers for “liking” or acceptance attributes and by trained panel for describing the appearance, texture, and flavor of the strawberries. Results from consumer testing at 1 d and 1 wk after coating indicated that chitosan coatings increased the appearance acceptance of the strawberries, but coatings containing vitamin E decreased acceptable appearance of strawberries. Chitosan coatings did not change consumer acceptability of flavor, sweetness, or firmness of the samples. Trained panel results after 1 wk of storage showed that chitosan-coated strawberries have similar sensory descriptors as those of fresh berries, whereas coatings containing vitamin E developed the waxy-and-white surface of the samples. The trained panel did not detect astringency difference among all samples, indicating that 1% chitosan coating did not change astringency of strawberries.