J. Anorve Morga, E. N. Aquino Bolanos and E. Mercado Silva., Effect of controlled atmosphere on the preservation of minimally processed cactus pear., Acta Horticulturae, 2006, Vol. 1, Num 68, ISSN 0567-7572, ISBN 978
Mexico is the largest producer of fresh cactus pear in the world. Markets for the fresh product regularly become saturated during the peak of the harvest season, however, suggesting that alternatives must be sought to increase commercialization in national and international markets. One possibility is to offer the fruit as a minimally processed product. The objective of this work was to determine the composition of the most appropriate controlled atmosphere (CA) for maintaining the quality of minimally processed cactus pears. Peeled Cristalina cactus pears were stored at 2C in different CAs (air, 3% O2, air + 3% O2, air + 10% CO2, and 10% CO2). The sensory quality, color, soluble solids content, total sugars, phenols and texture were periodically evaluated. During storage at 2C in 10% CO2 atmospheres, peeled fruit showed high values of visual quality, SSC and sugars, as well as a reduced tendency toward browning. Under those conditions, the quality of minimally processed fruit was preserved for up to 20 days.