Abstract: Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a major tropical fruit that has not been exploited for fresh-cut or minimally processed products on a scale similar to apples, pineapples, or melons. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of infrared (IR) treatment on total phenolics, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and antioxidant properties of fresh-cut cubes from ‘Tommy Atkin’ mangoes. Mango cubes were IR treated (5, 10, 15 min) and evaluated at 4-d intervals during 16-d storage at 4 ± 1 °C. Total phenolics, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid content in fresh-cut control mango cubes were 43.33, 1.37, and 15.97 mg/100 g FW, respectively. IR treatments increased total phenolics (59.23 to 71.16 mg/100 g FW) and decreased ascorbic acid (12.14 to 15.38 mg/100 g, FW). Total carotenoids showed a mixed trend (1.13 to 1.66 mg/100 g, FW). The IR treatment showed a significant positive impact on antioxidant properties (μM TE/100 g, FW) of mango cubes, as assayed by ABTS (261.5 compared with 338.0 to 416.4), DPPH (270.5 compared with 289.4 to 360.5), and ORAC (6686 compared with 8450 to 12230). Total phenolics, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and antioxidant capacity decreased over 16-d storage. However, IR treated samples had consistently higher ABTS, DPPH, and total phenolics during storage. It was demonstrated that IR treatment can be effectively used in improving antioxidant properties of fresh-cut mangoes with minimal effect on the visual appearance.
Practical Application: Various methods/treatments are in use for extending the quality of fresh-cut fruits, including mild heat treatment. This study explored the application of infrared (IR) heat for processing fresh-cut mango cubes and evaluated its effect on vitamin C and antioxidant capacity during 16-d storage. This is the first study reporting on the use of IR heat in fresh-cut fruits. IR treatment was shown to be effective in retaining antioxidant properties of fresh-cut mango cubes with minimal effect on the visual appearance.