Non-thermal Physical Technologies to Decontaminate and Extend the Shelf-life of Fruits and Vegetables: Trends Aiming at Quality and Safety.
Sommaire de l'article
Minimally processed fruits and vegetables are one of the major growing sectors in food industry. This growing demand for healthy and convenient foods with fresh-like properties is accompanied by concerns surrounding efficacy of the available sanitizing methods to appropriately deal with food-borne diseases. In fact, chemical sanitizers do not provide an efficient microbial reduction, besides being perceived negatively by the consumers, dangerous for human health and harmful to the environment, and the conventional thermal treatments may negatively affect physical, nutritional or bioactive properties of these perishable foods. For this reasons, the industry is investigating alternative non-thermal physical technologies, namely innovative packaging systems, ionizing and ultraviolet radiation, pulsed light, high-power ultrasound, cold plasma, high hydrostatic pressure, and dense phase carbon dioxide, as well as possible combinations between them or with other preservation factors (hurdles). This review discusses the potential of these novel or emerging technologies for decontamination and shelf-life extension of fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables. Advantages, limitations and challenges related to its use in this sector are also highlighted.