Extending the Shelf-Life of Fresh-Cut Green Bean Pods by Ethanol, Ascorbic Acid, and Essential Oils

Foods. 2021 May 17;10(5):1103. doi: 10.3390/foods10051103.


Green beans are a perishable crop, which deteriorate rapidly after harvest, particularly when minimally processed into ready-to-eat fresh-cut green beans. This study investigated the effectiveness of ethanol, ascorbic acid (AsA), tea tree essential oil (TTO), and peppermint essential oil (PMO) on the quality and storability of fresh-cut green bean pods samples stored at 5 °C for 15 days. Our results indicated that samples treated with ethanol, AsA, TTO, and PMO preserved appearance, firmness (except ethanol), chlorophyll content, and moisture compared with the samples without any treatment (control). Additionally, higher vitamin C, total soluble solids (TSS), total sugars, and total phenolic compounds (TPC) were observed in samples treated with ethanol, AsA, TTO, and PMO compared with the control. The most effective treatments for controlling microbial growth were ethanol followed by either TTO or PMO. All the treatments had positive effects on shelf life, maintained quality, and reducing microbial growth during 15 days of cold storage. A particular treatment can be selected based on the economic feasibility and critical control point in the value chain.

Keywords: Phaseolus vulgaris; minimal processed; peppermint; ready to eat; storability; tea tree.