Application of gum arabic and methyl cellulose coatings enriched with thyme oil to maintain quality and extend shelf life of “Acco” pomegranate arils
CITATION: Kawhena, T. G. et al. 2020. Application of gum arabic and methyl cellulose coatings enriched with thyme oil to maintain quality and extend shelf life of “Acco” pomegranate arils. Plants, 9(12):1690, doi:10.3390/plants9121690.
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The effects of gum arabic (GA; 1.5% w/v) and methyl cellulose (MC; 1% w/v) enriched with thyme oil (TO; 0.25 and 0.5% v/v) on the quality of “Acco” pomegranate arils were studied. Coating treatments, namely, MC, MC + TO0.5%, MC + TO0.25%, GA, GA + TO0.5% and GA + TO0.25% were applied on arils by dipping, and evaluations were made on physicochemical and microbiological quality, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity of arils stored (5 ± 1 ◦C, 95 ± 2% RH) for 16 days. Dipping arils in GA or MC, both containing TO (0.5% v/v) significantly (p < 0.0001) reduced weight loss and enhanced antioxidant activity (FRAP) (p = 0.0014). However, dipping arils in GA combined with TO (0.25% v/v) had the highest influence on reducing aril respiration rate compared with other treatments. Overall, results showed that application of coatings (GA + TO0.5% and GA + TO0.25%) reduced total yeast and mould and total plate counts and maintained quality up to 8 days of storage. These findings suggest that either GA + TO0.5% or GA + TO0.25% coatings have the capability to extend storage life of “Acco” pomegranate arils.