Levels and histochemical localization of peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase, and levels of anthocyanins and (+)-catechin, were studied in fruit of two strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) cultivars (`Oso Grande' and `Chandler'), which show different degrees of susceptibility to enzymatic browning after processing. Although the levels of anthocyanins at the processing-ripe stage may be important in determining pigment stability, and therefore market suitability, the color stability of `Chandler' is apparently determined by the lower endogenous levels of peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase in the processing-ripe stage, which are also accompanied by a lower (+)-catechin content. Polyphenol oxidase was localized almost exclusively in the cortex and to a lesser extent in the pith, showing a complementary pattern to that shown by peroxidase, which was localized in the vascular bundles. Since peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase showed a complementary localization pattern in the fruit, these results strongly suggest a synergic role for these two oxidative enzymes in pigment decay and the associated browning reaction, which occurs in processed strawberry fruit and their derived foods.
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