versão On-line ISSN 1806-9991
KLUGE, Ricardo A et al. Respiratory activity and pigment metabolism in fresh-cut beet roots treated with citric acid. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.4, pp. 520-523. ISSN 1806-9991. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362008000400019.
Beet roots cv. Early Wonder were graded for firmness, color and size, and were peeled inside a cold room (10ºC). Roots were then shredded (2 mm thick), sanitized for 6 minutes (NaClO/200 mg L-1), rinsed and centrifuged. Fresh-cut beet roots were then treated for 5 minutes with citric acid in the following concentrations: 0 (control), 500; 1,000; 1,500 and 2,000 mg L-1. The material was centrifuged again, placed in trays, wrapped with PVC plastic film, and stored at 5ºC and 85-90% HR for 10 days. Every two days, treatments were analyzed for respiratory activity and betacyanin and betaxanthin contents. The application of citric acid caused the reduction of respiratory rate in the fresh-cut tissue. In the second day of storage, control showed the highest respiratory activity among treatments, reaching around 77 mL CO2 kg-1 h-1. Citric acid solution dips in a concentration higher than 500 mg L-1 contributed to a decrease in respiratory activity and no peak in CO2 evolution was observed. There were significant differences among all treatments during the storage period for the contents of betacyanin, which were around 40; 45; 48; 51 and 55 mg 100 g-1 for the fresh-cut material treated with 0; 500; 1,000; 1,500 and 2,000 mg L-1 of citric acid, respectively.Also, levels of betaxanthin were around 25; 29; 33; 35 and 39 mg 100 g-1 for the material treated with 0; 500; 1,000; 1,500 and 2,000 mg L-1 of citric acid, respectively. The application of citric acid after minimal processing apparently have the ability to reduce respiratory rate and the degradation of pigments, which contributes to extend the shelf life of the fresh-cut product.
Palavras-chave : Beta vulgaris L.; respiration; betacyanin; betaxanthin; minimal processing.