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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth Baldwin x
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The optimal ripeness stage for processing and marketing fresh-cut mangoes (Mangifera indica ‘Kent’) with best quality and maximum shelf life was determined. The initial ripeness stage selection was based on whole fruit firmness because this quality attribute was more reliable in predicting fresh-cut shelf life than flesh color or soluble solids content (SSC). Overall, the visual quality deteriorated differently and at different rates among ripeness stages. The shelf life, based on subjective visual evaluation, was 10, 7, and 5 days for ripeness stages corresponding to an average flesh firmness of 35, 30, and 25 N, respectively, and was mainly limited by desiccation and development of off-odor for the two firmer ripeness stages or symptoms of edge tissue damage and spoilage for the least firm stage. The slices from fruit with the highest initial firmness remained firmer during storage, had the lowest pH and SSC to titratable acidity (TA) ratio, and had the highest contents of volatile ketones and esters. The softest slices had the highest pH, SSC:TA ratio, and total ascorbic acid (TAA) content, as well as the lowest TA and highest volatile aldehyde and alcohol contents. Intermediate firmness slices had intermediate pH, SSC:TA ratio, color, and TAA content. Also, they had less volatile alcohols and aldehydes than slices from riper fruit but had similar content of esters as slices from the less ripe fruit. Therefore, based on the results from this study, an initial firmness of 30 N is recommended to process mangoes into fresh-cut slices because it assures the best quality and maximum shelf life based on textural, visual, and compositional attributes.

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Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) is grown during the winter months in subtropical southern Florida and must thrive in higher than average temperatures and limestone soils. This is the first strawberry cultivar trial in southern Florida to include ‘Florida Beauty’, ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Strawberry Festival’, ‘Florida Radiance’, ‘Sensation FL127’, and ‘Winterstar’. Overall, ‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Sensation FL127’ were the top yielding cultivars, with the highest average total yields of 0.7 and 0.8 kg/plant fresh fruit, respectively. ‘Sensation FL127’ had a 36% greater late-season marketable yield compared with ‘Strawberry Festival’. ‘Sensation FL127’ consistently had the greatest soluble solids content (7.6% to 8.7%). Overall, this study demonstrates significant differences in yield and fruit quality among the cultivars tested in southern Florida.

Open Access

Fresh-cut mango (Mangifera indica) slices and chunks garner an exotic image and are highly appreciated for their unique flavor and nutritional value. However, processors tend to use firm unripe mangoes to achieve shelf life of 10 to 14 days, which compromises eating quality. The post-processing life of ripe fresh-cut mangoes is limited by tissue softening, translucency, and browning. The current study was undertaken to investigate whether edible coatings can extend the shelf life of fresh-cut mangoes processed at an eating-ripe stage. Three edible coatings, carboxymethylcellulose (1% w/v), aloe (Aloe vera) powder (2% w/v), and whey protein isolate (2% w/v), supplemented with calcium ascorbate 2% w/v (firming agent) and the antioxidants citric acid (0.8% w/v) and acetyl-N-cysteine (0.4% w/v), were used. The mixture of antibrowning agents, whether applied alone or with the edible coatings, was the most effective at reducing slice browning up to 10 and 11 days at 5 °C for ‘Tommy Atkins’ and ‘Kent’, respectively. In general, there were no differences in firmness and flavor among the three edible coatings. Calcium ascorbate alone did not suppress browning consistently, whereas citric acid appeared to be the ingredient having the greatest antibrowning effect on slice quality. Citric acid can easily be used by processors of fresh-cut mangoes to prevent browning.

Open Access