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  • Author or Editor: Steven Pao x
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An enzymatic peeling process is currently used to produce peeled citrus fruit that are convenient for consumption. By this process, fruit are scored and infused with pectinase or pectinase and cellulase solution and are incubated at 20 to 45C for 0.5 to 2 h. While enzyme solution apparently weakens of the albedo and thus improves separation of the fruit from its peel, we expect that enzyme infused into the flesh reduces storage quality. In these studies, fruit were vacuum- or pressure-infused with or without pectinase in water. The time required to peel white `Marsh' and `Ruby Red' grapefruit infused with solution containing enzyme were only 10% to 20% less than for fruit infused with water alone. `Hamlin' orange and `Orlando' tangelo peeling times were not improved by enzyme treatment. This suggests that water is the primary operative component of the enzyme solution and that the enzyme is an active, but nonessential, supplement. For white grapefruit and oranges stored at 5, 10, 15, or 25C, nonenzyme-treated fruit had significantly less juice leakage than enzyme-treated fruit. For example, 0.2% and 5.0% of the peeled fruit weight was lost by non-enzymatically and enzymatically peeled fruit, respectively, for vacuum-infused oranges stored at 5C for 7 days. Moreover, the enzyme treatment significantly reduced firmness, as determined by a sensory panel. Microbial levels and rates of respiration and ethylene emanation during storage were not significantly affected by enzyme treatment. Similar results were found for vacuum- and pressure-infused fruit.

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Peeling and storage characteristics of citrus fruit infused with water or enzyme solution were compared. Fruit were vacuum- or pressure-infused with water or water-containing pectinase. The enzyme treatment did not affect peeling times of white or red grapefruit, oranges, or tangelos. Pressure and vacuum infusion methods produced similar results. Grapefruit and oranges infused with water had significantly less juice leakage and were firmer than fruit infused with enzyme. Microbial levels and respiration rates and ethylene emanation during storage were the same for enzyme- and water-treated fruit.

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