Coating and the use of antioxidants in fresh fruit processing
In our work for the preservation of fresh fruit and vegetables, an important part is the clarification of false assumptions. Time and again we get the question, "Can't you just put edible packaging on it?" And we are already in the middle of one of the biggest misconceptions in fruit preservation: the different uses of coating, i.e. the "edible wrapping around the fruit" and antioxidants to keep processed fruit and vegetables fresh.
Coating vs. antioxidants
The strong demand for a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables has caused international availability to skyrocket in recent years. Many fruits that were once known only as seasonal are now often available internationally all year round. Yet the perishable fruits place not inconsiderable demands on the logistics behind them. Numerous challenges have to be mastered on the way from the harvest to the traders' shelves. One of them is to protect the fruit from drying out on the sometimes long transport routes. A coating keeps the liquid in the fruit and prevents the perishable product from shrinking. The first coating solutions relied on sealing with wax and current solutions speak of "edible packaging". A coating therefore always affects the whole fruit and is intended to keep it fresh during transport all the way to the shelf.
Antioxidants set in after the fruit's natural coating has been damaged during further processing. In a fresh fruit salad, perhaps the grapes are still protected by their natural skin - all other fruits are peeled, cut and prepared in such a way that the valuable fruit content without the skin is in the foreground. From the time of further processing, however, the fruit flesh is susceptible to the oxidation process, which greatly changes the appearance and sometimes the taste of the cut fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants to prevent oxidation, such as vitamin C, protect the cut or peeled fruit and open up new possibilities for fresh products, especially in the convenience sector. In addition, with high-quality antioxidants there is no need for costly packaging with a protective atmosphere.
A good complement
Due to the different applications of the two solutions, it quickly becomes clear that they are not mutually exclusive. Coating the whole fruit and using antioxidants in the subsequent processing complement each other very well and ensure a high quality of the finished product.
Do you process fresh fruit or vegetables? We have been working closely with the industry for many years and have developed many individual solutions for specific preservation requirements. Talk to us.