Mechanical properties and microstructure of frozen carrots during storage as affected by blanching in water and sugar solutions

Autores UPV
Revista Food Chemistry


Raw carrots and carrots blanched in water and in 4% trehalose and maltose solutions at 75°C for 3 (A) and 10 min (C) and at 90°C for 3 (B) and 10 min (D) were frozen and stored at -18°C for eight months. The effects of heating conditions and exogenous added sugars on the mechanical properties and microstructure of the vegetable after blanching and during frozen storage were studied. By scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis no significant differences were observed among samples A and B water-blanched and raw carrot while a thermo-protective effect due to the sugars addition was evidenced in sample D, undergone to the most severe thermal treatment. Freezing and frozen storage determined several fractures on both raw and blanched carrots due to ice crystals formation and re-crystallisation. The cryo-protective effect of the sugars on the vegetable microstructure was observed only in the 'over-blanched' sample D. The mechanical properties of carrots were affected by blanching which caused a hardness decrease but after freezing and one month of frozen storage, all samples showed a further dramatic reduction of hardness. Only samples characterised by a pectinesterase residual activity showed a softening also after one month of frozen storage likely for a competitive effect of the thermo-protective ability of trehalose on this enzyme. The exogenous trehalose was able to limit the hardness loss of carrots undergone to B, C and D blanching pre-treatments.