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Mouth-Watering Coating Tech Revealed

Friday, August 21, 2015

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Strawberry lovers, rejoice! A new coating advance may help you to satisfy your cravings for a longer time period.

Scientists at the University San Nicolás de los Garza in Mexico say they’ve come up with an edible coating made from pectin that increases the shelf life of strawberries from six to 15 days and makes them taste better too, the Institute of Food Technologists reported in a release.

Strawberry
©iStock.com / zhudifeng
 

The edible coating reportedly helps strawberries to stay in mouth-watering shape for more than double the typical shelf life. The coating is suitable for industrial-scale application on post-harvest strawberries, according to the team.

The research team recently reported its findings in the Journal of Food Science.

Sensitive Sweets

More than 4.5 million tons of strawberries are cultivated each year, with the main producers in the United States, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, and Mexico, according to Gizmag, citing data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

However, the soft fruits are highly perishable, susceptible to bruising, and require a lot of special care from farm to table, according to Gizmag.

From Field to Table

During harvesting, fields need to be picked every three days and once picked the fruit must be immediately cooled with fans, the report noted.

In order to ship the shortcake staple, the berries must be cooled to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and must be kept in specially packed, temperature controlled containers that cannot come in contact with floors, walls, or ceilings.

Edible Coating Recipe

The scientists developed a coating based on pectin, a component of many fruit and vegetable cell walls, and chitosan, which is an antifungal compound derived from crustacean shells for the coating.

Pullulan, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate were also used in the coating.

During testing, the berries were washed and disinfected, then dipped into the coating before being packed and stored at a temperature of 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, Gizmag reported.

Testing Results

The team found that compared to a control group of strawberries, the coating preserved, or sometimes improved, the color, flavor, and texture of the fruit, according to the report.

The coating also helped the berries to stay in mouth-watering shape for more than double the typical shelf life.

   

Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coatings Technology; Research and development; Trends

Comment from Gary Burke, (8/21/2015, 8:47 AM)

Awesome, except for the extra preservatives


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