The effect of tapioca starch/decolorized hsian-tsao leaf gum (dHG)-based edible coatings with various food additives (including ascorbic acid, calcium chloride, and cinnamon oil) on the qualities and shelf life of fresh-cut “Fuji” apple pieces was investigated during the refrigerated storage. The initial respiration rate, headspace gas composition, color, texture, microbial quality, peroxidase activity, and sensory qualities were analyzed. The results were also compared to those for samples submerged in distilled water and the samples treated with 120-ppm chlorine solution widely used in the industry. It was found that ascorbic acid and cinnamon oil delayed the browning of fresh-cut apples effectively when being applied in the starch/dHG-based edible coating solutions. In combination with calcium chloride, starch/dHG coated fresh-cut apples retained satisfactory firmness. Incorporation of cinnamon oil in starch/dHG coatings significantly reduced the growth of microorganisms, respiration rate, CO2, and ethylene production of fresh-cut apples, but these apple pieces received lower scores in overall preference during sensory evaluation. Among the starch/dHG-based active coatings studied, starch/dHG coatings with ascorbic acid and calcium chloride are suggested for fresh-cut apples, as they could enhance qualities in terms of color and firmness, and prolong the shelf life up to 5–7 days by providing reasonable microbial quality
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