chapter  4
52 Pages

Effect of enzymatic reactions ontexture of fruits and vegetables

WithLuis F. Goulao, Domingos P. F. Almeida, Cristina M. Oliveira

Textural characteristics of fruits and vegetables are important in determining consumer acceptance, and even minor deviations from the expected texture can result in produce rejection. The textural properties of a food are the group of physical characteristics that arise from its structural elements, are sensed by touch, and are related to the deformations, fracture, disintegration, and ow under force; these physical properties are measured objectively and expressed as functions of mass, time, and distance (Bourne, 2002). Although the term is used widely and loosely, texture is not a single, well-dened attribute. It is a multi-trait attribute encompassing individual characteristics described by terms like rm, stiff, breakdown, crisp, granular, hard, juicy, spongy, melty, oury, or gritty (Harker et al., 1997ab; King et al., 2000). Each of the mentioned attributes is likely to reect particular facets of cell wall structure, especially cell wall strength and cell-to-cell adhesion. Hence, texture should be dened as a collective term that encompasses the structural and mechanical properties of a plant organ and their sensory perception by the consumer (Figure 4.1). Depending on the specic fruit or vegetable, one or a few textural attributes are appropriate to dene its texture for the purpose of quality control throughout the supply chain.