Abstract: Burbank and Norkotah potato slices were dipped into 3% sodium acid sulfate (SAS), citric acid (CA), sodium erythorbate (SE), malic acid (MA), sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP), or a combination of SAS-CA-SE. Browning by polyphenol oxidase (PPO) obtained from potato extract with 0.04 to 0.016 g/mL of antibrowning solutions at pH 2.0 to 6.9 were measured by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The color of slices dipped in antibrowning solutions at pHs 2 to 7 and stored at 4 °C for 15 d was measured every 5 d by colorimeter. Headspace analysis of volatiles in raw and cooked potato samples was performed by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometer (SIFT-MS) and soft independent modelling by class analogy (SIMCA) analysis of the calculated odor activity values (OAV) determined interclass distances. Microbial growth was measured at 15 d. At unadjusted pHs (1.1 to 7.1), the PPO browning of the control and samples with SAPP was not significantly different, SAS, CA, and MA produced some inhibition and SE and SAS-CA-SE prevented browning. At pH 5 to 7, only SE and SAS-CA-SE were effective browning inhibitors. Based on the color of potato slices, SE was the most effective at pH 2 to 7, but SAS was most effective at unadjusted pH. Cooking increased volatile levels in the treated potatoes and decreased differences between volatile profiles. Differences between cooked samples may not be noticeable by the consumer because volatiles with high discriminating powers have low OAVs. SAS, CA, and SAS-CA-SE treatments inhibited microbial growth but SAPP, control, and SE did not, most likely due to pH.
Practical Application: Antibrowning agents inhibit polyphenol oxidase, increasing shelf life and consumer acceptability of processed raw potato products by preserving the color. Their effectiveness was shown to be mainly due to a pH effect, except SE, which was not pH dependent. MA, CA, and SAS-CA-SE are better acidulants for inhibition of color change as well as growth of spoilage bacteria, yeast, and mold than SAPP, the industry standard.