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Antioxidants were efficient in reducing browning and increasing the shelf life in minimally processed arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft)
* 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
1  Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, 469 Wilson Road, East Lansing, MI 48824.
2  College of Higher Education Santa Bárbara, Tatuí, São Paulo, Brazil.
3  State University of Minas Gerais, Passos, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
4  School of Food Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Monteiro Lobato St., N.80, 13083-862, Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil.
5  Department of Biological Sciences, Escola Superior de Agricultura ‘Luiz de Queiroz’ – University of Sao Paulo, Pádua Dias 11, 13.418-900 Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Academic Editor: Carmit Ziv


Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) is a nutritional crop with high energy value and good digestibility. However, this plant has a short shelf life due to excessive weight loss, browning, and disease incidence. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antioxidant compounds in the preservation of minimally processed arracacha during storage. The selected arracachas were washed with sodium hypochlorite (200 ppm), peeled, and sliced. Then, several treatments were evaluated in the minimally processed arracacha: Citric acid (AC) 1%; ascorbic acid (AA) 1%; ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) 1%; and distilled water (control group). The antioxidants were applied in the surface of the arracacha and stored in a cold room (5 ± 1 oC, 90 ± 5% RH) for six days. Weight loss, color parameters (L, a*, and b*), visual appearance, pH, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), reducing and total sugars contents, polyphenoloxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD) phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) enzyme activities and gas composition were analyzed every two days. Hence, the samples were discriminated by multivariate analysis to determine the effect of antioxidants during the storage time. The results showed that antioxidants controlled the fresh mass loss of arracacha. On the sixth day of storage, arracachas treated with EDTA had the highest b* and L* color parameters, indicating that they were more yellow and brighter than the other treatments. The visual notes (appearance and decay) for the antioxidant treatments were better than those compared with the control (without antioxidants). The influence of antioxidants on PPO and POD activity was very similar, and both enzymes showed high activity in the control arracacha (2-fold higher than the samples with antioxidants). By multivariate approach, samples were discriminated mainly into two groups: 1st group corresponding to the initial day of the experiment and 2nd group associated with the sixth day of storage. The appearance and color parameters were the most crucial factors for samples discrimination in the 1st group, while for the 2nd group, PAL, weight loss, and sugars were the variables responsible for the discrimination of the second group. Overall, from the all tested antioxidants, this study concludes that EDTA is the most indicated antioxidant to delay the browning reactions and increase the shelf life of minimally processed arracacha.

Keywords: Shelf life; Color; Antioxidants; Citric acid; Ascorbic acid; Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; Anti-browning agents