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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 81 (3) 175-184 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2016/81.3.6
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2016 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Alginate coatings containing high levels of isoleucine improve aromatic and standard quality in fresh-cut apple

M. Espino-Díaz1, F.J. Molina-Corral1, D.R. Sepulveda1, G.A. González-Aguilar2 and G.I. Olivas1
1Laboratorio de Tecnología de Alimentos de Origen Vegetal y Toxicología, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Cuauhtémoc, Chih., Mexico
2Dirección de Tecnología de Alimentos de Origen Vegetal, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Hermosillo, Son., Mexico

Edible coatings are potential carriers of additives that preserve fresh-cut apple quality. Aroma is one of the main quality parameters in apples, and naturally occurring fatty acids and amino acids are the major aroma precursors. The aim of this study was to determine whether alginate edible coatings con-taining L-isoleucine, as precursor of apple aroma compounds, affect synthesis of aroma compounds and preserves quality attributes on fresh-cut apple. Apple wedges were immersed in a CaCl2-citric acid solution and coated with: alginate coating, alginate with lipid (acetylated monoglyceride), and two alginate-lipid coatings containing L-isoleucine either 10 mM or 50 mM. Afterwards, apple wedges were stored at 2°C and 88% RH for 12 days. In general, coating inhibited in different extent browning and significantly reduced weight loss and improved firmness of fresh-cut apples of coated wedges. The addition of L-isoleucine (50 mM) to alginate, enhanced synthesis of 2-methyl butanol, 2-methylbutyl acetate, butyl 2-methylbutanoate, and hexyl 2-methylbutanoate, which are branched-chain aroma compounds derived from the L-isoleucine metabolic pathway. This increase showed the highest values at day 9 of storage. We concluded that the use of edible coatings containing L-isoleucine maintained quality attributes and additionally enhanced the production of the volatile aroma compounds, and has a great potential in the fresh-cut apple industry.

Keywords edible coatings, metabolism of amino acids, minimally processed, quality, volatile compounds

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Fresh-cut apples undergo fast deterioration when skin is removed and flesh is ruptured. Browning, texture and flavor loss ensue. Alginate edible coatings have shown to preserve some quality attributes on fresh-cut apples by acting as a partial barrier to water and gases, and by serving as carriers of additives such as texture enhancers and antibrowning agents.
What are the new findings?
  • Amino acid isoleucine added to an alginate coating enhanced synthesis of some key volatiles that impart flavor to apples, such as 2-methyl butanol, 2-methylbutyl acetate, butyl 2-methylbutanoate, and hexyl 2-methylbutanoate, all of them branched-chain aroma compounds derived from the L-isoleucine metabolic pathway.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • An increase in the concentration of branched-chain aroma in fresh cut apples containing alginate-isoleucine edible coatings has a great potential to enhance flavor in the fresh-cut apple industry.

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Received: 25 May 2015 | Revised: 4 August 2015 | Accepted: 4 April 2016 | Published: 20 June 2016 | Available online: 20 June 2016

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