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|Autori: ||Ignat, Alexandra|
|Supervisore afferente all'Università: ||NICOLI, MARIA CRISTINA|
|Centro di ricerca: ||DIPARTIMENTO SCIENZE DEGLI ALIMENTI - DIAL|
|Titolo: ||Emerging technologies for safe,
healthy and sustainable fresh-cut produce|
|Abstract (in inglese): ||In the last decade the food market has experienced the establishment of products meeting consumer needs of healthy commodities with improved fresh-like appearance and convenience. In this context, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables combine their fresh-like and healthy characteristics with a minimal time of preparation before consumption. Fresh-cut produce is thus a growing sector and there are still large opportunities for further development and improvement both at industrial level and in market shares. Appropriate solutions could overcome the critical aspects regarding product safety, quality and shelf life, production costs and environmental impact. In particular, suitable techniques should be employed to increase fresh-cut produce safety, affected by both chemical and microbiological contaminations. In addition to the latter, plant senescence together with enzymatic reactions should be controlled in order to guarantee product quality and extend the shelf life. Furthermore, proper technologies could be exploited to reduce the production costs and the environmental load of these produce. To this regard, process optimization as well as the implementation of novel technologies, could decrease energy, water and chemical compounds consumption, making fresh-cut production more sustainable in terms of economical, ethical and environmental aspects.
Driven by these needs from the fresh-cut production chain, a partnership among 8 Italian universities and research centres investigated the entire fresh-cut production chain from farm to fork. The project "AGER 2010 2370 Stayfresh: Novel strategies meeting the needs of the fresh-cut vegetable sector" aimed to find out integrated solutions able to optimize and innovate the fresh-cut produce from the agronomic aspects up to the ready-to-eat product.
This PhD thesis is therefore part of the abovementioned wide project and aimed to investigate whether selected novel non-thermal technologies can be exploited to enhance safety, quality and sustainability of fresh-cut produce, such as lettuce, apple and potato. The research was divided in two parts and the attention was focused on two processing steps, namely washing and stabilization treatments, which are critical in fresh-cut production. In the first part of the work, the application of promising novel technologies such as electrolyzed water and light technologies (i.e. UV-C and pulsed light) were studied as alternatives to highly chlorinated solutions to avoid cross-contamination during fresh-cut lettuce washing, guaranteeing product hygienic quality as well as the reduction of chlorinated compounds, water use and wastewater discharges. The second part addressed to fruit and vegetables stabilization by studying the effect of light technologies, dense phase carbon dioxide and pulsed electric fields. The latter were considered as potential techniques for microbial decontamination, enzymatic inactivation and quality enhance of fresh-cut lettuce, apple and potato. In particular, the experimental work regarding the application of pulsed electric fields on potato cubes was performed at the Laboratory of Food Technology of the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Dublin, Ireland.|
|Parole chiave: ||Novel technologies; Fresh-cut vegetables; Safety; Quality; Sustainability|
|MIUR : ||Settore AGR/15 - Scienze E Tecnologie Alimentari|
|Corso di dottorato: ||Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze degli alimenti|
|Ciclo di dottorato: ||27|
|Università di conseguimento titolo: ||Università degli Studi di Udine|
|Luogo di discussione: ||Udine|
|Citazione: ||Ignat, A. Emerging technologies for safe,
healthy and sustainable fresh-cut produce. (Doctoral Thesis, Università degli Studi di Udine, 2016).|
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