Document Type: Original Article


Department of Food Technology, School of Biotechnology, International University, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Purpose: Pretreatments of ethanol and chitosan immersion were examined for their potential to maintain physiochemical attributes of fresh cut pumpkin. Research method: Fresh cut pumpkin cubes were dipped into different ethanol solutions (20%, 30%, 40%, 50%) or chitosan concentrations (0.5%, 1%, 1.5%). All samples were stored for 15 days at 10°C. Main findings: Among four concentrations being applied, the 30% ethanol sample (ET 30) sustained the highest sensory quality until the final day and effectively retained fruit firmness, total soluble solids, total phenolic content compared to the 20% ethanol treatment (ET 20) stored at the same condition. Chitosan application retained better content of carotenoid, phenolic compounds, firmness, and reduced weight loss compared to non – chitosan treatment but there was no significant difference among concentrations. As a result, overall quality index of the coated samples surpassed control ones, especially 1% chitosan. The coating did not affect total soluble solids and antioxidant capacity. Limitations: The investigations of antioxidant and cell wall degrading enzymes were absent to support for the study’s results. Originality/Value: The combination of 30% ethanol and 1% chitosan suggested a possible application in practical context as it outperformed in maintaining the quality and prolonging storage time of the product up to 15 days at 100C.  


Main Subjects

Arnon-Rips, H., Porat, R., & Poverenov, E. (2019). Enhancement of agricultural produce quality and storability using citral-based edible coatings; the valuable effect of nano-emulsification in a solid-state delivery on fresh-cut melons model. Food Chemistry, 277, 205-212.

Bai, J., Plotto, A., Spotts, R., & Rattanapanone, N. (2011). Ethanol vapor and saprophytic yeast treatments reduce decay and maintain quality of intact and fresh-cut sweet cherries. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 62(2), 204-212.

Bolin, H. R., & Huxsoll, C. C. (1991). Effect of Preparation Procedures and Storage Parameters on Quality Retention of Salad-cut Lettuce. Journal of Food Science, 56(1), 60-62.

Cantwell, M., & Suslow, T. V. (2014). Pumpkin and winter squash: Recommendations for maintaining postharvest quality.

Cortez-Vega, W. R., Brose Piotrowicz, I. B., Prentice, C., & Dellinghausen Borges, C. (2014). Influence of different edible coatings in minimally processed pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata Duch). International Food Research Journal, 21(5), 2017-2023.

Engwa, G. A. (2018). Free radicals and the role of plant phytochemicals as antioxidants against oxidative stress-related diseases. In Phytochemicals: source of antioxidants and role in disease prevention, (Toshiki Asao and Md Asaduzzaman eds). IntechOpen, ebook, 49-73. 

Gao, J., Luo, Y., Turner, E., & Zhu, Y. (2017). Mild concentration of ethanol in combination with ascorbic acid inhibits browning and maintains quality of fresh-cut lotus root. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 128, 169-177.

Gao, J., Zhu, Y., & Luo, F. (2018). Effects of ethanol combined with ascorbic acid and packaging on the inhibition of browning and microbial growth in fresh‐cut Chinese yam. Food Science and Nutrition, 6(4), 998-1005.

Garcia, E., Barrett, D. M., & (2002). Preservative treatments for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. In Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: science, technology, and market. (Olusola Lamikanra ed). CRC Press.

Halpin, C. (2004). Investigating and manipulating lignin biosynthesis in the postgenomic era. Advances in Botanical Research, 41, 63-106.  

Harwood, J., & Moore Jr, T. S. (1989). Lipid metabolism in plants. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 8(1), 1-43.

Hernández-Muñoz, P., Almenar, E., Ocio, M. J., & Gavara, R. (2006). Effect of calcium dips and chitosan coatings on postharvest life of strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa). Postharvest Biology and Technology, 39(3), 247-253.

Homaida, M. A., Yan, S., & Yang, H. (2017). Effects of ethanol treatment on inhibiting fresh-cut sugarcane enzymatic browning and microbial growth. LWT- Food Science and Technology, 77, 8-14.

Hu, W., Jiang, A., Tian, M., Liu, C., & Wang, Y. (2010). Effect of ethanol treatment on physiological and quality attributes of fresh‐cut eggplant. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90(8), 1323-1326.

Kittur, F., Saroja, N., & Tharanathan, R. (2001). Polysaccharide-based composite coating formulations for shelf-life extension of fresh banana and mango. European Food Research and Technology, 213(4-5), 306-311.

Kjeldsen, P. (1993). Evaluation of gas diffusion through plastic materials used in experimental and sampling equipment. Water Research, 27(1), 121-131.

Kulczynski, B., & Gramza-Michalowska, A. (2019). The Profile of secondary metabolites and other bioactive compounds in Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Pumpkin Cultivars. Molecules, 24(16).

Li, H., & Yu, T. (2001). Effect of chitosan on incidence of brown rot, quality and physiological attributes of postharvest peach fruit. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 81(2), 269-274.;2-f

Li, M., Li, X., Li, J., Ji, Y., Han, C., Jin, P., & Zheng, Y. (2018). Responses of fresh-cut strawberries to ethanol vapor pretreatment: improved quality maintenance and associated antioxidant metabolism in gene expression and enzyme activity levels. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66(31), 8382-8390.

Lim, Y., Lim, T., & Tee, J. (2007). Antioxidant properties of several tropical fruits: A comparative study. Food Chemistry, 103(3), 1003-1008.

Mittler, R. (2002). Oxidative stress, antioxidants and stress tolerance. Trends in Plant Science, 7(9), 405-410. 

Nawirska-Olszańska, A., Biesiada, A., Sokół-Łętowska, A., & Kucharska, A. Z. (2011). Content of bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of Pumpkin puree enriched with Japanese quince, cornelian cherry, strawberry and apples. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Technologia Alimentaria, 10(1), 51-60.

Pareek, S. (2016). Fresh-cut Fruits and Vegetables: Technology, Physiology, and Safety. Taylor & Francis, US & UK: CRC Press.

Pesis, E. (2005). The role of the anaerobic metabolites, acetaldehyde and ethanol, in fruit ripening, enhancement of fruit quality and fruit deterioration. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 37(1), 1-19.

Petriccione, M., Mastrobuoni, F., Pasquariello, M. S., Zampella, L., Nobis, E., Capriolo, G., & Scortichini, M. (2015). Effect of chitosan coating on the postharvest quality and antioxidant enzyme system response of strawberry fruit during cold storage. Foods, 4(4), 501-523.

Plotto, A., Bai, J., Narciso, J., Brecht, J., & Baldwin, E. (2006). Ethanol vapor prior to processing extends fresh-cut mango storage by decreasing spoilage, but does not always delay ripening. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 39(2), 134-145.

Ritenour, M., Mangrich, M., Beaulieu, J., Rab, A., & Saltveit, M. (1997). Ethanol effects on the ripening of climacteric fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 12(1), 35-42.

Rodriguez-Amaya, D. B. (2001). A guide to carotenoid analysis in foods.  Washington (Vol. 71): ILSI Press.

Romanazzi, G., Feliziani, E., Baños, S. B., & Sivakumar, D. (2017). Shelf life extension of fresh fruit and vegetables by chitosan treatment. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(3), 579-601.

Roos, Y. H., & Drusch, S. (2015). Phase transitions in foods. Academic Press.

Şahin, S., & Şamlı, R. (2013). Optimization of olive leaf extract obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction with response surface methodology. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 20(1), 595-602.

Santos, A. R., Da Silva, A. F., Amaral, V. C., Ribeiro, A. B., de Abreu Filho, B. A., & Mikcha, J. M. (2016). Application of edible coating with starch and carvacrol in minimally processed pumpkin. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(4), 1975-1983.

Simon, E. (1974). Phospholipids and plant membrane permeability. New Phytologist, 73(3), 377-420. 

Singleton, V. L., & Rossi, J. A. (1965). Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic-phosphotungstic acid reagents. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 16(3), 144-158.

Soares, A. d. S., Ramos, A. M., Vieira, É. N. R., Vanzela, E. S. L., de Oliveira, P. M., & Paula, D. d. A. (2018). Vacuum impregnation of chitosan‐based edible coating in minimally processed pumpkin. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(9), 2229-2238.

Suwannarak, J., Phanumong, P., & Rattanapanone, N. (2015). Combined effect of calcium salt treatments and chitosan coating on quality and shelf life of carved fruits and vegetables. Chiang Mai University Journal of Natural Sciences, 14, 269-284.

Takahashi, M., Watanabe, H., Kikkawa, J., Ota, M., Watanabe, M., Sato, Y., SATO, N. (2006). Carotenoids extraction from Japanese persimmon (Hachiya-kaki) peels by supercritical CO2 with ethanol. Analytical Sciences, 22(11), 1441-1447.

Tian, S. P., Jiang, A. L., Xu, Y., & Wang, Y. S. (2004). Responses of physiology and quality of sweet cherry fruit to different atmospheres in storage. Food Chemistry, 87(1), 43-49.

Toivonen, P. M. (2004). Postharvest storage procedures and oxidative stress. Horticultural Science, 39(5), 938-942.

Zhang, D., & Quantick, P. C. (1997). Effects of chitosan coating on enzymatic browning and decay during postharvest storage of litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) fruit. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 12(2), 195-202.