• gamma irradiation;
  • minimally processed foods;
  • carrot;
  • cucumber;
  • vitamin C;
  • total carotenoids;
  • texture

ABSTRACT: In the present study, radiation processing of minimally processed carrot and cucumber at a dose of 2 kGy was carried out. The effect of this treatment on different quality parameters such as vitamin C content, total carotenoids content, sensory quality, texture, and color was determined over a storage period of 16 d at 8°C to 10° C. In the case of cucumber, treatment of irradiation as well as storage period showed no significant change in the total vitamin C content of either the control or the irradiated samples. In the case of carrots, a 2-kGy dose had no significant effect (P < 0.05) on total vitamin C content of the samples. However, during storage, both control as well as irradiated samples showed significant decrease (P < 0.05) in vitamin C content. Total carotenoids content in carrot remained almost unchanged after irradiation as well as during storage. Sensory evaluation results showed that irradiation had no significant (P < 0.05) effect on the ratings of any of the sensory attributes in carrot. Radiation processing of cucumber affected the flavor significantly. However, this change did not alter the overall acceptability of cucumber. Textural studies revealed that in both carrot and cucumber, there was no significant change (P < 0.05) in firmness of the central region after irradiation, whereas the peripheral region in carrot showed significant reduction in firmness. In the case of cucumber, there was no significant change (P < 0.05) in the texture of both peripheral regions. However, during storage, the peripheral regions of carrot and cucumber showed significant increase in firmness. Color measurement results indicated no drastic change in color coordinates of carrot samples. Thus, the nutritional as well as sensory quality of minimally processed foods did not alter significantly after gamma irradiation.