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REDUCTION IN MICROBIAL GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENT OF STORAGE QUALITY IN FRESH-CUT PINEAPPLE AFTER METHYL JASMONATE TREATMENT

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*TEL: 787 832 0844; FAX: 787 265 3853; EMAIL: carol_harper@cca.uprm.edu

ABSTRACT

Maintaining the quality of a fresh-cut fruit or vegetable product is a major concern and a priority in the development and in the production of fresh-cut produce products of the industry. The industry has been searching for alternative methods to protect fresh-cut produce from decay and to prolong shelf life. The objective of this research is to enhance the quality and the shelf life of fresh-cut pineapple by exposure to methyl jasmonate (MJ). The exposure of the diced pineapple to a MJ emulsion at a concentration of 10−4 M for 5 min in a sealed container decreased microbiological growth by 3 logs after 12 days of storage at 7C, compared with the control pineapple. Methyl jasmonate as vapor or as dip did not affect the firmness or the color of the fruit. Methyl jasmonate may be a practical treatment to ensure the safety and the quality of fresh-cut pineapple and other fruits and vegetables.

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