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Fresh-Cut Salads: Consumer Acceptance and Quality Parameter Evolution during Storage in Domestic Refrigerators

Ready-to-eat fresh-cut salads (RTESs) are fresh-cut vegetables that have been minimally processed and remain alive until consumption. A survey with 297 respondents was performed, showing that most respondents consumed RTESs composed of various vegetables once or twice a week. The most important items for consumers’ RTESs purchasing intention were the expiration date and the absence of exudates and brown and dehydrated leaves, while after storage in domestic refrigerators, the most important item for consumption refusal was the presence of strange odours. On the other hand, among the non-consumers of RTESs, the most important reason for not buying this kind of produce was the use of plastic packaging. Microbiological analysis of RTESs (composed of corn salads, radicchio and escarole leaves) showed that moulds, yeasts and psychrophilic aerobic microflora remained unchanged from buying to the expiration date, while increases occurred in mesophilic aerobic microflora, although all of them were within safety levels for consumption even after 4 days of the expiration date. Finally, total phenolics and antioxidant activity were higher in corn salads followed by radicchio and escarole leaves, and generally, no significant changes occurred in the bioactive compounds of RTESs during storage in domestic refrigerators.

Publication date: 16/03/2022

Author: José M. Lorente-Mento

Reference: doi: 10.3390/su14063473

MDPI (sustainability)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.