Fruit and Vegetable Processing Improving Quality Woodhead Publishing in Food Science and Technology by Wim Jongen

Bibliographic Information:
Title: Fruit and Vegetable Processing Improving Quality Woodhead Publishing in Food Science and Technology
Editor: Wim Jongen
Edition: 1st
Publisher: CRC Press
Length: 405 pages
Size: 1.83  MB
Language: English

Fruit and vegetables are both major food products in their own right and key
ingredients in many processed foods. Consumers increasingly require food products
that preserve their nutritional value, retain a natural and fresh colour, flavour
and texture, and contain fewer additives such as preservatives. These requirements
pose new challenges for fruit and vegetable producers and processors.
There has been a wealth of recent research both on the importance of fruit and
vegetable consumption to health and on new techniques to preserve the nutritional
and sensory qualities demanded by consumers. This book reviews these
Eating fruits and vegetables has long been associated with health benefits,
though some of the ways in which these foods enhance health have only become
clear in recent decades. Part 1 looks at this recent research. Chapter 2 considers
the epidemiological evidence linking increased fruit and vegetable consumption
with health benefits, the constituents of these foods which may be responsible for
these benefits and the factors influencing their modes of action and efficacy. As
well as being rich in micronutrients, plant foods also contain an immense variety
of biologically-active, non-nutritive secondary metabolites known as phytochemicals.
Chapter 3 discusses one of the most important groups of phytochemicals,
antioxidants, which are thought to play an important role in the
body’s defence against cardiovascular disease, certain (epithelial) cancers, visual
impairments, arthritis and asthma. Against the background of these two chapters,
Chapter 4 looks at the impact of processing on both key nutrients and antioxidants,
taking tomato as a case study to demonstrate how the nutritional quality
of fruits and vegetables may be preserved and even enhanced during processing.
Fruit and vegetable production and processing involves a complex supply
chain from the farm to the point of consumption. One of the central themes of
recent research has been the importance of strengthening each link in the chain
and improving the integration of the supply chain as a whole if consistent and
high fruit and vegetable quality is to be maintained. Part 2 considers how safety
and quality can be better managed in the supply chain. Chapter 5 looks at the
increasing use of mathematical modelling techniques to better understand and
control cultivation, again using tomato as a case study. Such techniques help to
make more efficient use of resources with both economic and environmental
benefits valued by the consumer, and are increasingly being applied to improving
sensory and nutritional quality. Chapter 6 describes how the Hazard Analysis and
Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, originally developed for the food processing
sector, is being applied on the farm to cultivate safer fresh produce free
of contamination from pathogens or other contaminants such as pesticides.
Once harvested, fruits and vegetables must be handled carefully if they are not
to deteriorate before they reach consumers as fresh retail products or manufacturers
for further processing. This critical stage in the supply chain is reviewed
in Chapter 7 which defines quality criteria in freshly-harvested produce, describes
the principal causes of quality deterioration and the main storage and packaging
techniques used to maintain quality. At each stage in the supply chain there is a
need for effective measurement of product quality. Chapters 8 and 9 describe
some of the advanced instrumental techniques that are now being developed to
measure quality and spot defects so that they can be remedied quickly. The development
of rapid, non-destructive on-line instrumentation is a critical weapon in
maintaining quality at all stages in the supply chain. The final two chapters in
Part 2 look at the processing stage in the supply chain, discussing how to better
understand and control the thermal processing of fruits and vegetables, and ensure
the safety of cooked chilled foods containing vegetables.
Against the background of Part 2, the final part of the book considers the range
of new techniques that are being developed to improve quality at the various
stages of the supply chain. The first two chapters consider ways of improving
quality during cultivation and immediately after harvesting, discussing ways of
improving the natural resistance of fruit and the genetic modification of plants to
improve shelf-life. The following three chapters build on the overview provided
by Chapter 7 in describing techniques for maintaining the postharvest quality of
fresh fruit and vegetables. Chapter 14 looks at minimal processing methods whilst
the following two chapters consider developments in modified atmosphere packaging
(MAP) and the development of edible coatings. The final two chapters then
consider two new technologies in processing fruit and vegetables: high pressure
processing and vacuum technology.

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