Nutritional and sensory quality during refrigerated storage of fresh-cut mints (Mentha × piperita and M. spicata)
- Physicochemical attributes and chemical components of fresh-cut mints were studied.
- Essential oil yield and composition were analysed.
- Surface colour, pigments and antioxidants remained almost constant for 21 days at 0 °C.
- Both species flavour determinants (menthone, menthol, carvone and limonene) diminished.
- Selected storage conditions for fresh-cut mints allowed a relatively long shelf life.
The effect of storage time on quality attributes of refrigerated fresh-cut mints (Mentha × piperita and M. spicata) was studied. Atmosphere composition, respiratory activity, weight loss, surface colour, total chlorophyll, carotenoids, browning potential, total phenols, flavonoids, radical-scavenging activity, ascorbic acid and essential oil yield and composition were analysed. Respiratory activity of peppermint and spearmint samples diminished moderately (42% and 28%, respectively) after 21 days at 0 °C. A slight modification of the internal atmosphere was achieved. Surface colour, chlorophyll, carotenoid and antioxidant compounds remained almost constant. The yield of essential oil did not change or it showed an apparent increase after 21 days at 0 °C, depending on plant growth stage. The characteristic flavour components of peppermint (menthone and menthol) increased, while the contents of the main constituents of spearmint essential oil showed minor variations after storage. The conditions assayed for packaging and storing fresh-cut mints were adequate to achieve a relatively long shelf life and they retained their antioxidant properties.
- Culinary herbs;
- Mentha spp.;
- Refrigerated storage;
- Antioxidant compounds;
- Essential oils;
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