Comparison of Sodium Acid Sulfate to Citric Acid to Inhibit Browning of Fresh-Cut Potatoes



Abstract:  Sodium acid sulfate (SAS) dip treatments were evaluated against a distilled water control and citric acid (CA) to compare its effectiveness in reducing enzymatic browning of raw, French-fry cut potatoes. Two separate studies were conducted with dip concentrations ranging from 0%, 1%, and 3% in experiment 1 to 0%, 2%, and 2.5% in experiment 2 to determine optimal dip concentrations. Russet Burbank potatoes were peeled, sliced, and dipped for 1 min and stored at 3 °C. Color, texture, fry surface pH, and microbiological analyses were conducted on days 0, 7, and 14. The 3% SAS- and CA-treated samples had significantly (p < 0.0001) lower pH levels on fry surfaces than all other treatments. Both acidulants had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower aerobic plate counts compared to controls in both studies by day 7. However, SAS appeared to be the most effective at the 3% level in maintaining a light fry color up to day 14 and had the highest L-values than all other treatments. The 3% SAS-treated fry slices appeared to have the least change in textural properties over storage time, having a significantly (p = 0.0002) higher force value (kg force [kgf]) than the other treatments during experiment 1, without any signs of case-hardening that appeared in the control and CA-treated samples. SAS was just as comparable to CA in reducing surface fry pH and also lowering microbial counts over storage time. According to the results, SAS may be another viable acidulant to be utilized in the fresh-cut fruit and vegetable industry.