Effect of isochoric freezing on quality aspects of minimally processed potatoes.
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The enhanced interest in greater convenience foods has recently led to the expansion of minimally processed potato products. This study investigated the effects of isochoric freezing on pre-peeled potato cubes, including quality attributes (microstructure, texture, and color), nutritional value (ascorbic acid (AA) content, total phenolic content, and antioxidant capacity), and polyphenol oxidase activity. Isochoric freezing (-3 C/30MPa) was compared with isobaric freezing (-3 C/0.1MPa) and individual quick freezing followed by frozen storage at -20 C for 4 weeks. The isochoric sample had lower drip loss and volume shrinkage as well as better preserved texture and microstructure than the other samples. All freezing methods caused an increase in total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity, but a decrease in AA content. Also, all freezing methods caused browning of the thawed potatoes, but isochoric freezing delayed its onset for more than 1 week. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Results showed that isochoric freezing of pre-peeled and cut potatoes caused less freeze damage than isobaric and individual quick freezing, which might find application in the commercial preservation of minimally processed food products.