FRESH FOOD POSTHARVEST TREATMENT BY GAMMA RADIATION
There is an ever-increasing global demand from consumers for high-quality foods with major emphasis placed on quality and safety attributes, with no, or minimal chemical preservatives. Extending the shelf-life, while improving the food safety, will have a positive impact on both the industry and consumers (and potential target groups such as immunocompromised patients). Our study indicated that postharvest gamma radiation treatment of cherry tomatoes can be used as an emergent, clean and environmental friendly process to extend the shelf-life of this fruit with safety and quality. An irradiation dose of 3.2 kGy reduced the microbiota by 2 log (99% inactivation) and could achieve a potential decrease of 5–11 log of foodborne pathogens load with a minor effect on the fruit sensory and quality attributes. The implementation of this emergent post-harvest process for cherry tomatoes could represent a shelf-life extension up to 14 days at refrigerated conditions.
Effects of gamma radiation postharvest treatment on cherry tomatoes (i) mesophilic microbial population during refrigerated storage, ii) Total Phenolics content (TP) and Antioxidant Activity (AC); and iii) Sensory attributes.
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