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14

Additives and Preservatives

Meral Kilic-Akyilmaz and Zehra Gulsunoglu

CONTENTS
14.1 Introduction................................................................................................................................... 301
14.2 Major Deteriorations in Vegetable Products................................................................................. 302
14.2.1 Browning and Other Discolorations................................................................................. 302
14.2.2 Textural Changes.............................................................................................................. 303
14.2.3 Microbial Spoilage........................................................................................................... 304
14.2.4 Other Deteriorations......................................................................................................... 305
14.3 Additives Used in Processing of Vegetables................................................................................. 305
14.3.1 Antibrowning Agents....................................................................................................... 306
14.3.1.1 Organic Acids................................................................................................... 306
14.3.1.2 Reducing Agents............................................................................................... 306
14.3.1.3 Complexing Agents........................................................................................... 307
14.3.1.4 Other Antibrowning Agents............................................................................. 308
14.3.2 Other Color Retention Agents.......................................................................................... 309
14.3.3 Texture Improving Agents................................................................................................ 309
14.3.4 Preservatives..................................................................................................................... 309
14.3.4.1 Acids..................................................................................................................311
14.3.4.2 Sulfur Dioxide and Sulfites................................................................................312
14.3.4.3 Salt and Sugar....................................................................................................312
14.3.5 Other Additives..................................................................................................................313
14.3.6 Natural Additives...............................................................................................................313
14.4 Conclusions....................................................................................................................................314
References................................................................................................................................................314

14.1 Introduction
Foods are processed to provide consumers a wide variety of safe, nutritious, consistent quality, palat-
able, readily prepared, and consumed products with low cost throughout the year. Additives are required
for ensuring safety and quality of food products within a reasonable shelf life. Consumers’ demand for
reduced fat, salt, and energy and minimally processed foods drives modification of food processing
techniques, which also necessitates use of food additives (Saltmarsh and Insall 2013).
Vegetables are degraded by changes in color, texture, flavor, and nutritional value after harvest as a
result of enzymatic, chemical, and physical reactions and microbial growth. Changes occur as a result of
respiration of raw vegetables, processing operations, and storage. Minimal processing operations such
as peeling, coring, chopping, slicing, dicing, or shredding damage natural cellular structure, expose tis-
sues to storage atmosphere and microorganisms accelerating deterioration (Toivonen and DeEll 2002;
Baldwin and Bai 2010). As a result, fresh-cut vegetables produced by minimal processing have shorter
shelf lives due to dehydration, increased ripening rate, accelerated senescence, oxidation, microbial
growth, and enzymatic degradations compared to those of processed vegetables (Garcia and Barrett
2002). Additives are also required in these products since processing is allowed only to a limited extent.

301
302 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

Blanching is applied for inactivation of enzymes to protect color, nutritional value, and flavor of veg-
etables. Pasteurization, sterilization, and other processing methods are applied for inactivation of
pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. Processing operations also cause degradation in quality of
vegetables. Therefore, additives are also required in heat-treated or processed vegetable products to
maintain quality properties during processing and storage.
In this chapter, major deteriorations in vegetables will be reviewed first to put the need for additives
into perspective and then additives used for prevention of these deteriorations will be discussed.

14.2  Major Deteriorations in Vegetable Products


Vegetables continue respiration after harvest and biochemical reactions take place at cellular level. After
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a certain time, senescence starts and causes decay of the produce. If cellular integrity and natural decom-
partmentation of enzymes and substrates are lost by damage or cutting operations, rates of respiration
and enzymatic reactions hence that of decay increase. Most of the deteriorations in vegetable products
are due to activity of native enzymes if they are not inactivated. On the other hand, chemical reactions
such as oxidation and loss of flavor, physical changes upon water loss, and microbial spoilage also con-
tribute to their deterioration.

14.2.1  Browning and Other Discolorations


Browning of vegetables is a consequence of processing operations like cutting that bring enzymes and sub-
strates into contact. Majority of browning in vegetables including mushroom, eggplant, potatoes, lettuce,
squash, and artichoke occur as a result of enzymatic browning catalyzed by polyphenol oxidase (PPO).
Peroxidase oxidizing phenolic compounds in the presence of H2O2 and phenylalanine ammonia lyase
(PAL) synthesizing phenolic compounds, especially in lettuce, are also involved in some cases (Garcia and
Barrett 2002; Baldwin and Bai 2010). PPO refers to a group of enzymes including tyrosinase, diphenol
oxidase, and laccase that have copper ions at their active site (Whitaker and Lee 1995). There are various
phenolic compounds in plants including simple phenols (tyrosine, catechol, and gallic acid), cinnamic acid
derivatives (p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid), and flavonoids (rutin, catechin, quercetin,
and anthocyanin) (Eskin and Hoehn 2013). PPO catalyzes the hydroxylation of monophenols and the oxi-
dation of diphenols to quinones using oxygen as a cosubstrate. Formed quinones are further oxidized and
polymerized into brown pigments called melanins through nonenzymatic reactions. Quinones can react
with other quinones, phenolic compounds, amino groups of proteins, peptides, amino acids and aromatic
amines, thiol compounds, and ascorbic acid (Whitaker and Lee 1995; Garcia and Barrett 2002). Optimum
pH for the enzymatic activity is at pH 6–6.5 and the activity is reduced at pH values below 4.5 (Garcia and
Barrett 2002). Enzymatic browning can also influence flavor and nutrients in vegetables.
Nonenzymatic browning or Maillard reaction between reducing sugars and amines also occur espe-
cially in dehydrated vegetables such as dehydrated cabbage and carrots during processing and storage.
Furthermore, oxidized ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, can also react with amines in Maillard reac-
tion (Cemeroğlu and Acar 1986). On the other hand, ascorbic acid can inhibit the reaction by reducing
oxygen and o-quinones back to o-phenols in the medium.
Blanching is an effective method in prevention of enzymatic browning. If there is no blanching treat-
ment, additives for prevention of exposure to oxygen, inactivation of substrates, and inhibition of the
enzyme are used to control browning (Sapers et al. 2001). Nonenzymatic browning can be controlled
by sulfiting, reducing temperature of heat treatment and storage, dehydration to a low-water activity,
and removal of sugars by an enzyme such as glucose oxidase depending on the product (O’Brien and
Morrissey 1989; Sapers et al. 2001).
There are also changes in pigments of vegetables such as chlorophyll, carotenoids, and anthocyanins
after harvest as a result of ripening. These pigments are degraded by specific enzymes and oxidation.
Lipoxygenase can catalyze oxidation of chlorophyll and carotenoids (Lamikanra 2002).
Chlorophyll is degraded by acid and heat treatments during processing. It is converted to pheophytin
by loss of magnesium from its structure changing its color from green to olive brown in most processed
Additives and Preservatives 303

green vegetables. Chlorophyll is also hydrolyzed enzymatically by involvement of ­chlorophyllase,


reductases, magnesium dechelatase, pheophorbide a oxygenase, and red chlorophyll catabolite reduc-
tase, resulting in fading of green color (Marquez and Sinnecker 2008; Adams 2010; Eskin and Hoehn
2013). Other enzymes including lipoxygenase, chlorophyll oxidase, and peroxidases can also cause loss
of green color through oxidation (Marquez and Sinnecker 2008). Photooxidation and other oxidative
reactions also contribute to further degreening (Marquez and Sinnecker 2008). In some vegetables,
carotenoids become dominant when chlorophyll is degraded, changing color from green to yellow
(Shewfelt 2002).
Anthocyanins are degraded depending on pH and they can form complexes with Al, Fe, Cu, and Sn
of the metal packaging materials, which lead to change in color from red to purple (Cemeroğlu and Acar
1986). Colorless leucoanthocyanins present in green beans and cabbage cause reddening or browning in
color upon cooking (Cemeroğlu and Acar 1986).
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Carotenoids are present in carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squashes, peppers, yellow corn, toma-
toes, spinach, and in green parts of vegetables. Physiological role of carotenoids is to quench triplet
oxygen, triplet sensitizers, and act with vitamin E for protecting plant tissues against oxidation (Zhuang
and Earth 2003). Therefore, they are sensitive to oxidation and lose their color during heat treatment
and storage. Carotenoids are more heat stable compared to anthocyanins, but both are oxidized upon
heat treatment and exposure to oxygen (Cemeroğlu and Acar 1986). Oxidation should be prevented to
preserve color in tomatoes and other dark-colored vegetables.
White discoloration on cut surfaces of carrots is due to dehydration and lignification caused by PAL
(Shewfelt 2002). After-cooking darkening in potatoes is caused by formation of iron complexes of chlo-
rogenic acid (Sapers et al. 2001).

14.2.2  Textural Changes


Textural changes that occur in vegetables after harvest are softening as a result of water loss and pectin
degradation and toughening due to lignification. Textural changes are also caused by processing that take
place at a higher extent compared to those during storage (Goulao et al. 2010).
Pectin is a component of the cell wall and middle lamella in vegetable tissues providing firmness.
It also plays a role in cross-linking other polysaccharides and proteins in the cell wall. Calcium strength-
ens cell wall by formation of intermolecular bridges between free carboxyl groups of pectic acid via
ionic linkages, regulation of activity of cell wall enzymes, and ion exchange properties of the wall
(Lamikanra 2002; Goulao et al. 2010). Softening occurs in vegetables due to activity of pectin degrading
enzymes that solubilize and depolymerize pectin in cell wall and middle lamella. There are two enzymes
degrading pectin including depolymerases (polygalacturonase and pectic lyase) and pectinesterase (pec-
tase, pectinmethylesterase, or pectinmethoxylase). Depolymerases hydrolyze glycosidic bonds, whereas
pectinesterase causes deesterification of pectin (Lamikanra 2002). Tomatoes and melons exhibit typi-
cal softening by degradation of pectin. Softening during storage is a major problem in pickled or fer-
mented vegetables that is caused by both native enzymes of vegetables and those of microorganisms
(Malinowska-Panczyk 2012).
Softening is also caused by loss of moisture as a result of transpiration, respiration, and physical dry-
ing of cut surfaces, which lead to loss of turgor pressure in tissues, wilting and shriveling especially in
leafy vegetables (Toivonen and DeEll 2002; Mishra and Gamage 2007). Moisture loss in some produce
can be prevented by edible coating applications (Baldwin and Bai 2010).
Texture of some vegetables such as carrots, asparagus, summer squash, cucumbers, sweetcorn, and
green beans is hardened due to lignification after harvest (Goulao et al. 2010). Lignification is a part
of plant metabolism that results in cross-linking of cell wall polymers and adding lignin into the cell
wall polysaccharide matrix. This phenomenon can be delayed by harvesting the vegetables immature or
reducing respiration rate.
Dehydration of cut vegetables cause shrinkage and collapse of tissues impairing their rehydration
properties. Capillaries in vegetable structure are collapsed and shrunken due to loss of differential per-
meability in the protoplasmic membrane, loss of turgor pressure in the cell, protein denaturation, starch
crystallinity, and hydrogen bonding of macromolecules (Jayaraman and Das Gupta 2006).
304 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

14.2.3  Microbial Spoilage


Vegetables contain approximately 88% water, 8.6% carbohydrate, 1.9% proteins, 0.3% fat, and 0.84%
ash, which provide a suitable medium for growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms (Fung
2009). Fresh vegetables can be contaminated with microorganisms from soil, water and during harvest-
ing, processing and transport. Microbial growth is favored when vegetables are cut or peeled, exposing
their surface to air and to possible contamination (Ahvenainen 1996; Rico et al. 2007; Lehto et al. 2011).
The natural microflora of vegetables is not pathogenic for human; however, during harvesting and process-
ing, they can be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms (Ramos et al. 2013). Most vegetables and
their products with the exception of tomatoes are low-acid foods with a pH higher than 4.6 that renders them
a good medium for growth of pathogens (Table 14.1). The most heat-resistant pathogen in low-acid foods
is Clostridium botulinum that can grow and produce a deadly toxin under anaerobic conditions. Therefore,
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vegetables should be processed by commercial sterilization, drying, fermentation, acidification, or use of pre-
servatives for ensuring food safety. As a safety measure, pH 4.5 is set as the critical value for determination of
degree of heat treatment in canning of vegetables (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001a; Russell and Gould 2003; Ramos
et al. 2013). Most tomatoes are high-acid foods, but excessively ripened ones and certain cultivars may have a
high pH. In the United States, tomatoes with a pH value up to 4.7 are treated as high-acid foods rather than a pH
4.6 as for other vegetables since there are natural components that inhibit botulinum growth (Barringer 2003).
Common contaminants of fresh vegetables are Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus (Gorris and
Peppelenbos 2007). Pseudomonas and Erwinia species are the predominant microflora of fresh leafy
vegetables, although molds and yeasts can also be present (Ahvenainen 1996). Erwinia carotovora and
Pseudomonas marginalis cause some defects like soft, mushy consistency, bad odor, and water-soaked
appearance on vegetables including asparagus, onions, garlic, green beans, carrots, celery, parsley, beets,
lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Botrytis
­cinerea produces a gray mycelium at warm temperatures and high humidity and affects asparagus, onions,
garlic, green beans, lima beans, carrots, parsnips, celery, lettuce, cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnips, cucum-
ber, and peppers. Rhizopus stolonifer is responsible for Rhizopus soft rot and affects green beans, lima
beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, cucumbers, and pumpkins (Fung 2009).

TABLE 14.1
pH Value of Some Vegetables and Vegetable Products
Vegetable pH
Artichokes 5.50–6.00
Beans 5.60–6.50
Carrots 5.88–6.40
Cucumbers 5.12–5.78
  Cucumbers, dill pickles 3.20–3.70
Lettuce 5.80–6.15
Mushrooms 6.00–6.70
Olives, black 6.00–7.00
  Olives, green, fermented 3.60–4.60
Peas, strained 5.91–6.12
Peppers 4.65–5.45
  Chili sauce, acidified 2.77–3.70
Potatoes 5.40–5.90
Spinach 5.50–6.80
Tomatoes 4.30–4.90

Source: FDA/CFSAN, Acidified and low-acid canned foods,


approximate pH of foods and food products, U.S.
Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food
Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2008, Available from:
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/lacf-phs.html,
Accessed June 26, 2014.
Additives and Preservatives 305

Dominant microorganisms spoiling a vegetable product depend on microbial load of raw material,
composition, pH, water activity, availability of oxygen and redox potential of the product, process-
ing, packaging, and storage conditions applied. As an example, unheated acidified or fermented
foods with a pH lower than 4.2 are spoiled by lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and molds (Russell and
Gould 2003).

14.2.4  Other Deteriorations


Flavor of vegetables is changed by enzymatic and chemical reactions where new flavor and off-flavor
compounds are produced. Their nutritional value is reduced by loss of activity of vitamins and phenolic
compounds. Ascorbic acid is the most sensitive vitamin being degraded by heat treatment and oxidation
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during processing and storage of vegetables. Additives such as antioxidants can help in protection of
nutrients and flavor during processing and storage.

14.3  Additives Used in Processing of Vegetables


Food additives are defined in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives as:

Any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used as a typical
ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which
to food for a technological (including organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing,
­preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food results, or may be
reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly), in it or its by-products becoming a com-
ponent of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such foods. The term does not include
contaminants or substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities.
CODEX STAN 192-1995 (2013)

Guidance for additives that are safe to use in foods is provided along with acceptable daily intake (ADI)
and maximum level of use in this standard. Each additive is categorized and coded in E numbers by the
European Union and international numbering system (INS) by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
The INS is developed for common use of food additives in different countries.
Food additives are classified according to their technological function. There are 26 functional classes
of food additives defined in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives. According to the standard,
technological functions of the additives can be one or more of the following:

1. To preserve the nutritional quality of the food.


2. To provide necessary ingredients or constituents for foods manufactured for groups of consum-
ers having special dietary needs.
3. To enhance the keeping quality or stability of a food or to improve its organoleptic properties,
provided that this does not change the nature, substance, or quality of the food so as to deceive
the consumer.
4. To provide aids in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, transport, or
storage of food, provided that the additive is not used to disguise the effects of the use of
faulty raw materials or of undesirable (including unhygienic) practices or techniques during the
course of any of these activities.

Regulations about additives mandate that they should be used to perform a specific technological
function, provided that there is no other economical and technological way exists for that function,
they should be added in the minimum quantity to perform that function, they should not cause a
safety concern to the health of the consumer at the level of use and their use does not mislead the
consumer. Additives should be used in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
306 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

Safety of the additives are assessed periodically by the regulatory authorities including European
Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (the ANS
Panel), Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) that advises the UN’s Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
in the United States. The Codex General Standard for Food Additives was adopted to recommend maxi-
mum usage level for food additives in all products traded internationally. In the safety assessment of an
additive, a NOEL (“no observed effect level”) value is determined based on the animal testing. After
that, regulatory authorities determine ADI for the additive that is the amount of the substance that is
considered to be safely consumed daily throughout a lifetime on body weight basis without a health
risk. ADI is taken as 1% of the NOEL value as a safety caution, which ensures that the intake is far from
near toxicologically harmful. Maximum level of an additive or chemically related group of additives
allowed to be used is determined as number of grams or milligrams per kilogram or liter of the foods.
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Maximum level of use is the highest safe concentration of an additive to exert its technological function.
It is not an “optimum, recommended or typical level of use,” which will differ according to the type
of food, purpose, and conditions of use. But it provides a safeguard for consumers that the intake of an
additive from all its uses does not exceed its ADI. If an ADI is not specified, the additive can be used
with no limitation according to GMP but it cannot be used unlimitedly.
To ensure that consumers are not exceeding the ADI by consuming too much of a product or too many
products containing a particular additive, authorities regularly reassess safety of the additive according
to changing consumption patterns. Furthermore, their long-term and interactive effects on human health
are considered (Branen and Haggerty 2001; Sumner and Eifert 2001). Even though there is no study
linking currently used additives and health risks, safety of additives especially preservatives is continu-
ously reviewed in the light of new studies using advanced analysis methods (Branen and Haggerty 2001).
Additives commonly used in vegetable products include acidity regulators (acidulants), antioxidants,
color retention agents (antibrowning agents), firming agents, preservatives, colors, glazing agents (coat-
ing agents), anticaking agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, sweeteners, thickeners, sequestrants, and packag-
ing gases. Processing aids are not additives in the sense that they are added to an ingredient or during
processing but they do not contribute to the final product. They are not required to be declared on the
label. On the other hand, packaging gases are not only additives but also the materials used as part of a
preservation method. Additives commonly used in processing of vegetables other than packaging gases
will be reviewed in the following sections.

14.3.1  Antibrowning Agents


Antibrowning agents inhibit browning reactions by reducing pH of the medium, reacting with the sub-
strates or intermediates of the reaction or inhibiting the enzyme directly. Combination of antibrowning
agents is more effective than a single one for controlling browning. Antibrowning agents can be applied
in a dipping solution by spraying onto surfaces or vacuum impregnation.

14.3.1.1  Organic Acids


Organic acids including lactic, sorbic, acetic, and citric acids act as antibrowning agent primarily by reducing
pH (Garcia and Barrett 2002). Citric acid also chelates copper at the active site of the PPO and other prooxi-
dants (Ayala-Zavala and Gonzalez-Aguilar 2010). Citric acid at a concentration of 0.1%–0.5% is used for
prevention of yellowing and browning in pickled vegetables and olives (Aktan et al. 1999). Malic, tartaric,
oxalic, and succinic acids can also be used to acidify the surface of fresh-cut vegetables and to act as a che-
lator (Baldwin and Bai 2010). Acetate can inhibit pinking of lettuce ribs effectively (Castaner et al. 1996).
Acidulants are used with other antibrowning agents as only pH reduction is not sufficient to control browning.

14.3.1.2  Reducing Agents


Sulfur dioxide (SO2) or sulfites, ascorbic acid, and thiol-containing compounds are commonly used
additives for inhibition of browning. These additives reduce o-quinones to o-diphenols interrupting the
reaction. However, they are also oxidized in the reaction so there might be insufficient concentrations of
Additives and Preservatives 307

them to continuously control the reaction. This should be considered for determination of their level to
be added to a specific product.
SO2 and sulfite salts have unique antibrowning effect inhibiting both enzymatic and nonenzymatic
browning. Sulfites can reduce o-quinones to sulfonated phenols. Sulfurous acid can react with reducing
sugars, carbonyl compounds, and melanoidins through different reaction mechanisms (Wedzicha 2001).
SO2 in gaseous form or sulfite salts that release SO2 in water is used in practice (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b).
Gaseous SO2, sodium or potassium sulfites (K2SO3), bisulfites (KHSO3), or metabisulfites (K2S2O5) are
used as additives. When SO2 or sulfites is dissolved in water, it forms sulfurous acid (H2SO3). This fur-
ther ionizes to bisulfite (HSO3−) and sulfite (SO32−) with loss of proton depending on pH (pK 1.76–1.90,
7.18–7.20). When the pH is decreased, the concentration of undissociated sulfurous acid increases and
those of bisulfite and sulfite decrease (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b; Wedzicha 2001). The concentrations of
active forms depend on pH, the concentration of oxidized sulfur species, ionic strength, and the presence
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of nonelectrolytes (Wedzicha 2001). SO2 uptake by vegetables is affected by concentration and tempera-
ture of dipping solution, time of treatment, geometry and conditions of sample (i.e., peeled or unpeeled,
whole or sliced), and agitation of solution (Davidson et al. 2001; Rahman and Perera 2007; Rangan and
Barceloux 2009).
Sulfur compounds are highly reactive and part of their activity is lost due to nonspecific reactions
(Wedzicha 2001). Metabisulfites and bisulfites are more stable to oxidation than sulfites (Dauthy 1995).
The losses in sulfur compounds should be accounted for in determination of the amount to be added to
a specific food product. Generally, sulfur compounds are added at a level to provide 0.01%–0.02% SO2.
Maximum allowed residual level of SO2 is given for specific products in the regulations and ranges from
200 ppm to 2500 ppm (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b). The amount of SO2 is also reduced after heat treatment.
SO2 and sulfites also act as antioxidant and antimicrobial in various food products. SO2 is used widely
in the food industry to prevent discoloration and preservation of vitamins during drying and storage
(Rahman and Perrera 2007; Rangan and Barceloux 2009).
SO2 and sulfites can cause allergic reactions especially in sensitive individuals and asthmatics.
Therefore, use of sulfur compounds in vegetable products to be consumed raw was banned by the FDA
in 1986 (Timbo et al. 2004). They are allowed in products that will be further processed such as dehy-
drated vegetables.
Alternatives to sulfur compounds are sought because of their adverse health effects (Table  14.2).
Ascorbic acid is a good alternative as it is a natural component of foods with antioxidant activity.
Ascorbic acid and erythorbic acid, its isomer without vitamin C activity, can reduce quinones to dihy-
droxy phenols. Ascorbic acid also slightly lowers pH and inhibits PPO directly (Cemeroğlu and Acar
1986). Erythorbic acid does not inhibit PPO. Ascorbic acid and sodium erythorbate are used to preserve
color of fresh and canned mushrooms, artichokes, and asparagus (Sapers et al. 2001; Stanfield 2003).
Use of ascorbic acid alone is not very effective in prevention of browning and its oxidized form dehydro-
ascorbic acid can undergo nonenzymatic browning reactions under certain conditions. Therefore, it is
combined with an organic acid such as citric acid in some cases (Sapers et al. 2001).
Thiol-containing compounds including cysteine, glutathione, and N-acetylcysteine can react with qui-
nones but also inhibit browning by reducing Cu2+ at the active site of PPO or directly inhibiting PPO
(Sapers et al. 2001; Lamikanra 2002). Cysteine can cause an objectionable sulfury odor at the concentra-
tion required for prevention of browning that limits it use (Sapers et al. 2001; Lamikanra 2002).

14.3.1.3  Complexing Agents


Complexing agents form complexes with substrates or intermediate products of PPO. β-Cyclodextrin can
form complexes with phenolic compounds inhibiting their further reaction (Garcia and Barrett 2002). Its
effectiveness was limited by its low water solubility and changing binding strength for different phenols
(Garcia and Barrett 2002). A synergistic effect was obtained when complexing agents were used in com-
bination that can allow use of lower amounts of each agent (Sapers et al. 2001).
Chelating agents form complexes with copper at the active site of PPO (Garcia and Barrett 2002;
Ayala-Zavala and González-Aguilar 2010). They also chelate iron and prevent formation of dark-colored
complexes between iron and phenolic compounds (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b). Ethylenediaminetetraacetic
308 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

TABLE 14.2
Sulfur Dioxide or Sulfite Alternatives Used for Inhibition of Enzymatic Browning in Vegetable Products
Alternative Application Vegetable/Comments References
Rice bran protein extract Potato puree/inhibited enzymatic Kubglomsong and Theerakulkait
browning in potato puree more than (2014)
ascorbic and citric acid. Inhibitory
effect of rice bran protein extract
depended on pH and temperature.
Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) extract Mushroom and potato (polyphenol Schulbach et al. (2013)
oxidase)/blue mussel extract showed
broad inhibition for mushroom and
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potato polyphenoloxidase.
Sodium acid sulfate, citric acid, Potato slices/sodium erythorbate was Mosneaguta et al. (2012)
sodium erythorbate, malic acid, the most effective antibrowning agent
sodium acid pyrophosphate, when the pH was adjusted by
individually and combination of these acidulants to 2–7.
NatureSeal and sodium acid sulfate Fresh-cut potato slices/they reduced Calder et al. (2011)
(with or without aqueous ozone) browning regardless of ozone
treatment.
l-Cysteine hydrochloride monohydrate Fresh-cut artichokes/l-cysteine is Cabezas-Serrano et al. (2013)
expensive but more effective than
ascorbic acid, there is a potential
formation of off-flavors at the
required concentration.
Ascorbic acid, citric acid, peracetic Fresh-cut artichokes/only cysteine, at Ghidelli et al. (2013)
acid, calcium chloride, cyclodextrin, concentrations above 0.5 g/100 g
cysteine, hexametaphosphate, and significantly extended shelf life until
4-hexylresorcinol 4 days at 5°C.
Ascorbic acid, cysteine, citric acid, and Fresh lettuce/the degradation rate of Altunkaya and Gokmen (2009)
oxalic acid individual phenolic compounds in the
presence of cysteine or citric acid
were found significantly higher than
that in ascorbic acid or oxalic acid.
Phytoncide essential oil Fresh-cut lettuce/phytoncide essential Kim et al. (2014)
oil was found effective.
Maillard reaction products Mushroom and eggplant slices/ Billaud et al. (2005)
Maillard reaction products are
effective at very low concentration.
Calcium citrate and ascorbate Fresh eggplant cubes/Ca-ascorbate was Barbagallo et al. (2012)
found more effective than Ca-citrate.
Ascorbic acid dip and high O2 Fresh-cut eggplants/the combination of Li et al. (2014)
modified atmosphere packaging ascorbic acid and high O2 was more
effective than the single treatments.

acid (EDTA), sodium acid pyrophosphate, polyphosphates, and citric acid are commonly used chelators
in canned mushrooms, cauliflower, eggplant, asparagus, and potatoes (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b; Sapers
et al. 2001; Stanfield 2003; Baldwin 2007).

14.3.1.4  Other Antibrowning Agents


Inhibitors of PPO were also found effective as antibrowning agents including hydroxycinnamic acid,
benzoic acid, kojic acid, 4-hexylresorcinol, ficin, C3–C5 aliphatic primary alcohols, and honey (Sapers
et al. 2001; Baldwin and Bai 2010). Salts of calcium, zinc, and sodium also acted as inhibitory to the
enzyme but they affected the taste at the concentration required for inhibition. The inhibitory effect
of calcium was suggested to be related to preservation of membrane structure reducing the release
Additives and Preservatives 309

of PPO and substrates from cut surfaces or direct inhibition of PPO (Sapers et al. 2001). Acetic acid,
2,­4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and calcium chloride were reported to inhibit PAL activity and decrease
browning of lettuce (Sapers et al. 2001; Lamikanra 2002). Cysteine, 4-hexylresorcinol, EDTA, and citric
acid were also effective in prevention of browning of lettuce during storage (Lamikanra 2002).
Even though enzymatic browning can be prevented with various additives, inhibition of nonenzymatic
browning is challenging (Wedzicha 2001). Thiol compounds including N-acetylcysteine, glutathione,
mercaptoethanol, and dipeptides of cysteine were found to inhibit nonenzymatic browning to varying
extent with dipeptides of cysteine being the most effective agent (Wedzicha 2001).

14.3.2  Other Color Retention Agents


Retention of green color of chlorophyll in processed vegetables can be realized with some specific treat-
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ments. These include use of antioxidants, addition of alkalizing agents along with salts of magnesium,
calcium, sodium, or ammonium and blanching (Marquez and Sinnecker 2008). When chlorophyll is
treated with an alkali, a more heat-stable green derivative is formed, which is basis of the Blair process
applied in the United States. In this process, sodium bicarbonate and disodium sulfate are used along
with calcium and magnesium in brine to prevent softening (Cemeroğlu and Acar 1986). In another pat-
ented process called Veri-Green developed in 1984, zinc and copper salts were added in brine before
thermal processing to preserve green color by formation of metallo-chlorophyll compounds in canned
vegetables (Marquez and Sinnecker 2008).
Antioxidants can be used to prevent oxidation of pigments. Ascorbic acid is a natural antioxidant
commonly present in vegetables including sweet peppers, broccoli, kale, collards, and turnips. It shows
antioxidant activity by reacting with reactive oxygen species. Ascorbic acid can also act as a prooxi-
dant at high concentrations. Yellowing of broccoli was prevented by treatment with 0.05% ascorbic acid
(Zhuang and Earth 2003).
Citric acid, sulfiting, and starch coatings were applied for prevention of surface whitening and carotene
degradation in cut carrots (Garcia and Barrett 2002; Shewfelt 2002; Jayaraman and Das Gupta 2006).

14.3.3  Texture Improving Agents


Calcium salts are commonly added as firming agents in vegetable products including canned peas, tomatoes,
peppers, zucchini, melons, olives, and potatoes (Stanfield 2003). Calcium can form calcium pectate com-
plexes in the middle lamella of plant tissues especially at low-salt concentrations (Aktan et al. 1999). Salt
at a level above 15% can also inhibit pectinolytic enzymes and contribute to firming of pickled vegetables
(Fleming et al. 1992; Aktan et al. 1999). Brine supplemented with CaCl2 (4%) caused the flesh of olives to
be stronger and stiffer than that of fermented olives without this additive (Tassou et al. 2007). CaCl2 is also
added to pickled and canned vegetables (0.2% in sliced cucumbers) as a firming agent (Aktan et al. 1999).
Calcium can be added to heat-treated tomatoes in the form of calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, cal-
cium citrate, or monocalcium phosphate to prevent softening (Barringer 2003). The calcium may be
mixed with the filling solution or it can be added as a tablet to the can. Pectin methylesterase was also
found to increase the firmness of the tomato dices by deesterification of the galacturonic acid subunits in
pectin and making them available for calcium cross-linking (Barringer 2003).
Citric acid was reported to reduce surface lignification of cut and peeled carrots (Garcia and Barrett 2002).
Salt, polyhydroxy compounds, sodium carbonate, and sucrose were found useful for improvement of rehy-
dration properties of dehydrated vegetables such as cauliflower and cellery (Jayaraman and Das Gupta 2006).

14.3.4 Preservatives
Preservatives form one of the classes of additives used for inhibition or inactivation of pathogenic and
spoilage microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, and molds (Table 14.3). They are important in ensur-
ing safety of food products in combination with GMP. They cannot be used in a product already spoiled
by high numbers of microorganisms, and they cannot replace good hygienic practice. Preservatives also
extend shelf life of foods, reduce waste, and cost of processing (Smith 1991).
TABLE 14.3

310
Preservatives Used for Vegetable Products
Dissociation pH Range Solubility in Maximum  Acceptable Daily
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Constant for Best Water Level  Intake (ADI, mg/kg


Preservative (pK) Activity (g/L at 20°C) Alloweda Body Weight)
Acetic acid 4.26 5.0–5.2 Miscible GMP for untreated fresh vegetables, fermented vegetables, frozen vegetables Not limited
Benzoic acid 4.21 2.5–4 2.9 600 mg/kg in concentrates for vegetable nectar 5
Sodium benzoate 660 1000 mg/kg for cooked or fried vegetables, dried vegetables, and fermented
Potassium benzoate 650 vegetables
Calcium benzoate 27.2
Citric acid pK1: 3.15 4.5–4.7 730 GMP in untreated vegetables, concentrates for vegetable juice and nectar, Not limited
pK2: 4.77 fermented vegetables, frozen vegetables
pK3: 6.41
Fumaric acid pK1: 3.03 4.9 GMP for fermented vegetables 6
pK2: 4.44
Lactic acid 3.86 5 (For spore Practically GMP for untreated fresh vegetables, fermented vegetables, frozen vegetables Not limited
forming bacteria) insoluble
Malic acid pK1: 3.40 55 GMP in fermented vegetables, frozen vegetables vegetable juice and nectar Not limited

Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing


pK2: 5.11
p-Hydroxybenzoate 4.48 3–8 5 300 mg/kg for fermented vegetables 10
(methyl or ethyl ester) 1000 mg/kg for vegetable pastes, pulps, purees, and raw vegetables
1000 mg/kg for vegetables in vinegar, oil, brine, or soybean sauce
Sorbic acid 4.80 5.5–6.0 1.5 1000 mg/kg for fermented vegetables, vegetable pastes, pulps, purees, and 25
Potassium sorbate 582 raw vegetables
Sodium sorbate 320 1000 mg/kg for cooked or fried vegetables
Calcium sorbate 12
Sulfites 0.7
Sulfur dioxide pK1: 1.89 <4.0 SO2: 200 50 mg/kg residual SO2 for canned or bottled (pasteurized) or retort pouch
Potassium sulfite pK2: 7.18 K2SO3: 250 vegetables, concentrates for vegetable juice, nectar
Sodium sulfite Na2SO3: 270 500 mg/kg residual SO2 for dried and fermented vegetables
Potassium bisulfite KHSO3: 490 300 mg/kg residual SO2 for vegetable pastes and pulps, purees
Sodium bisulfite NaHSO3: 300 50 mg/kg for frozen potatoes
Potassium metabisulfite K2S2O5: 450
Sodium metabisulfite Na2S2O5: 540
Sources: Acosta (2008); Bogaert and Naidu (2000); Chipley (2005); CODEX STAN 192-1995 (2013); Davidson et al. (2001); Doores (2005); Fernandez et al. (2013); Lück and Jager (1997);
Saltmarsh and Insall (2013); Velioglu (2009); Verbruggen (2001); Wedzicha (2001); Zacharis and Tzanavaras (2012).
a CODEX STAN 192-1995 (2013).
Additives and Preservatives 311

Preservatives should be soluble in the food and present at an effective concentration without altera-
tion of organoleptic and physicochemical properties of the product. They should be soluble in aqueous
medium of most foods where microorganisms grow and lipid soluble to pass through hydrophobic cell
wall (Lück and Jager 1997). Preservative and its concentration to be used in a specific product are
determined by species and the number of microorganisms present, product composition, pH, size and
viscosity, targeted level and time of inhibition. In general, they are used at a level below 0.2%. Most
preservatives are effective against yeasts and molds with some affecting bacteria. Preservatives can
influence microorganisms by different mechanisms of action, they can react with the cell membrane
changing its permeability and interfering with nutrient and metabolite transport, inactivate essential
enzymes, interfere with genetic mechanisms, or inhibit protein synthesis (Branen 1993; Lück and Jager
1997).
Preservatives such as salt, sugar, and acids have been used traditionally to preserve foods but also to
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provide flavor. Preservatives are used with other preservation methods such as heat treatment to reduce
their concentration, to obtain a higher impact on microorganisms, to reduce processing treatments and to
preserve product properties according to the hurdle technology concept. The principle of hurdle technol-
ogy is that combined effects of preservation methods have a higher impact on microorganisms than that
obtained by use of high intensity of a single method or different methods at the same intensity (Leistner
2000).

14.3.4.1 Acids
Organic acids are natural constituents of plants with antimicrobial activity. Antimicrobial effect of an
acid is not only due to pH reduction but also specific action of the acid on cellular functions depending
on the acid type (Davidson et al. 2001). Some organic acids like acetic acid act mainly by changing pH
of the medium. However, large amounts of acid (1%–2%) are required for reducing the pH to safe levels,
which could have an adverse effect on odor and flavor. Some organic acids such as sorbic and ben-
zoic acids are effective at lower concentrations as they can damage cell membrane changing membrane
potential and influencing transport of nutrients and metabolites. They can also enter the cell lowering
pH of the cytoplasm, denaturing proteins, and inhibiting enzyme systems of microorganisms (Lück and
Jager 1997; Booth and Stratford 2003).
Undissociated form of an organic acid with the ability to act on the cell membrane and enter the cell
has more antimicrobial activity compared to that of dissociated form (Davidson et  al. 2001; Doores
2005). pH of the medium determines the concentration of the undissociated form of an acid. When the
pH is lower than dissociation constant (pK) of an acid, the proportion of the undissociated form is higher
compared to that of corresponding dissociated ion. In general, organic acids can be used in foods with a
pH value less than 5.5, since most of them have a pK between pH 3 and 5 (Davidson et al. 2001; Doores
2005). Some organic acids like benzoic acid have low solubility in water, therefore, their salts are pre-
ferred for obtaining the required concentration in aqueous medium.
Acetic acid has more effect on yeasts and bacteria than molds. It acts mainly by reduction of pH of
the medium (Lück and Jager 1997). Since its antimicrobial effect is limited, it is used in combination
with pasteurization, salt and other preservatives like sorbic acid. Acetic acid is used for preservation of
acidified vegetables at a level greater than 3.6% (Breidt Jr. 2005). In fermented or acidified-pasteurized
vegetables, sauces and ketchup, lower concentrations of acetic acid in the range of 0.5%–2% can be used
(Fleming et al. 1992; Aktan et al. 1999; Breidt Jr. 2005) Use of acetic acid is preferred over vinegar as
vinegar may change the color of the product (Aktan et al. 1999). In addition, dehydroacetic acid and its
sodium salt can be used as a preservative in cut or peeled squash and sodium diacetate as fungistatic in
pickled vegetables (Doores 2005).
Benzoic acid is naturally found in some fruits including apples and berries. Benzoic acid and benzo-
ates control yeasts and molds more effectively than bacteria. It can enter the cell through cell wall, lower
internal pH, and inhibit cellular enzymes (Lück and Jager 1997). Benzoic acid is commonly used at a
level of 0.1%–0.2%. Its potassium and calcium salts are used more commonly as they are more soluble
in aqueous medium. It is used in pickles, ketchup, and tomato products against molds and yeasts. Due to
its objectionable taste, pasteurization and sorbic acid are preferred in some products.
312 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

Lactic acid is formed as an end product in lactic fermentation or it is added for pH reduction and flavor
in pickles, olives, and sauerkraut. It has a slight antimicrobial effect at concentrations above 0.5% on
mainly putrefactive anaerobic and butyric-acid producing bacteria (Dauthy 1995; Lück and Jager 1997).
Use of d(-)- and dl-lactic acid is banned from use in infant foods because of health risks.
Sorbic acid and its potassium, calcium, or sodium salts are used in vegetable products as antifungal
agent. It is also effective against some pathogenic and spoilage bacteria (Davidson et al. 2001). Sorbic acid
has a unique antimicrobial effect by inhibition of cellular enzymes through covalent binding. Sorbates are
more effective against spoilage microorganisms than propionate or benzoate at the same pH (Davidson
et al. 2001). Potassium sorbate can be used at 0.05%–0.2% in olives, sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, and
sweet relishes for inhibition of film-forming yeasts and molds (Lück and Jager 1997). Potassium sorbate
is preferred for its higher water solubility and stability compared to those of sodium and calcium sorbates.
Alkyl (methyl, ethyl) esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid are used as preservatives. As the length of the
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alkyl chain increases, antimicrobial activity is increased but water solubility is reduced (Davidson et al.
2001). They affect molds and yeasts more than bacteria. p-Hydroxybenzoic acid esters inhibit microor-
ganisms by damaging cell membrane, inhibiting nutrient transport, causing protein denaturation in the
cell, and inhibiting enzyme systems (Lück and Jager 1997). They can be used in foods with a high pH
value where bacteria and yeasts cause spoilage. However, they have an adverse effect on taste and they
are preferred more in pharmaceutics and cosmetics (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001b).
Sodium and calcium salts of EDTA were reported to support inhibitory action of preservatives by
preventing germination of spores above 300 ppm and increasing permeability of cell membranes (Lück
and Jager 1997).

14.3.4.2  Sulfur Dioxide and Sulfites


Antimicrobial activity of SO2 depends on pH. Sulfurous acid shows much higher inhibitory activity on
microorganisms compared to its dissociated forms in water. The various sulfite salts contain 50%–68%
active SO2 (Lück and Jager 1997). At pH values less than 4.0, the antimicrobial activity reaches its maxi-
mum (Dauthy 1995; Lück and Jager 1997).
SO2 can inhibit microorganisms by disruption of cellular membrane, inactivation of DNA replication,
protein synthesis, inhibition of metabolic enzymes, and reaction with intermediate and end product of
enzymatic reactions (Lück and Jager 1997; Davidson et al. 2001). Sulfurous acid inhibits yeast, molds,
and bacteria; however, yeasts and molds are generally less sensitive to SO2 than bacteria (Lück and Jager
1997). SO2 and sulfites are used in the preservation dehydrated vegetables and pickles to control spoilage
and fermentative yeasts and molds at a level of 0.01%–0.2% (Dauthy 1995; Davidson et al. 2001).

14.3.4.3  Salt and Sugar


Salt lowers water activity and solubility of oxygen in water and increases effectiveness of preservatives
(Lück and Jager 1997). It is used in brine of canned vegetables in some cases along with citric acid
and sugar. The amount of salt used is in the range of 0.5%–2% varying with species and other compo-
nents of the brine (Cemeroğlu et al. 2001a). For unfermented olives, salt content in brine is 9%–10%
(Malinowska-Panczyk 2012).
Salt is a traditionally used preservative in fermented vegetables that provides a selective medium for
growth of lactic acid bacteria and also prevents softening (Fleming et al. 1992; Malinowska-Panczyk
2012). The amount of salt used for fermentation is generally 5%–10% depending on the species, time
of storage before sale, and the other components in the brine (Aktan et al. 1999; Malinowska-Panczyk
2012). In production of sauerkraut, 2%–3% salt is added to shredded cabbage. For pickles that would be
stored for a long time, salt content could be increased up to 16%. The salt in pickles before sale is reduced
to levels below 5% by washing treatment. Sugar can be added for aiding fermentation at a level of 1%
and for providing flavor in sweet pickles at a level of 10%–20% (Aktan et al. 1999). If pasteurization is
applied or preservatives are added after fermentation, salt and acid levels in brine can be reduced (Aktan
et al. 1999). In acidified and pasteurized vegetables, vegetative cells of microorganisms are inactivated
by pasteurization and acid prevents germination of bacterial spores (Fleming et al. 1992).
Additives and Preservatives 313

Salt and sugar are also used in osmotic dehydration of vegetables. Osmotic dehydration is applied as
a pretreatment before drying for removal of moisture up to 50% (Rahman 2007; Kowalski et al. 2013).

14.3.5  Other Additives


Other than commonly used additives, there are additives serving specific functions in certain vegetable
products (Table 14.4). Edible coatings can be applied on fresh-cut vegetables to prevent water loss, oxy-
gen exposure, and microbial attack. Coloring agents such as riboflavin in pickled green peppers can be
added to improve color. Ferrous lactate is used in ripe olives as a color retention agent.
Disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and monosodium glutamate are used as flavor enhancer in
canned mushrooms, corns, green beans, wax beans and peas (Stanfield 2003). Starch and gums are also
used as thickener in canned mushrooms, peas, and asparagus (Cemeroğlu and Acar 1986). In addition,
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fortificants (e.g., vitamin C) can be added to increase nutrient content of processed vegetable products.

14.3.6  Natural Additives


Although there is no universally accepted definition of natural, natural additives are those obtained
from natural sources or produced by synthesis as identical to those found in nature (Baines 2012). Food
additives used in the food industry cover both natural and synthetic additives even though they were
linked directly to the synthetic chemicals by consumers. Preservatives are attracting the most objections
from the consumers as they are perceived to be unnatural with a power to extend the shelf lives of foods
beyond those of traditional counterparts. In fact, preservatives are the most important ingredients of food
products for protecting consumer health.
To meet the current demand of consumers for foods with less synthetic additives or additive-free
foods, natural additives have been searched as alternatives. In addition, alternatives have been seeked
for existing preservatives with a wider spectrum of antimicrobial activity, no interaction with food
components like lipids, less cost and problems in toxicological evaluation procedures (Davidson and
Zivanovic 2003). Natural preservatives are expected to have activity when added as a food or as an

TABLE 14.4
Some Additives Used in Processing of Vegetables
Additive Function
Ascorbic acid Antioxidant, acidity regulator
Calcium chloride Firming agent
Calcium lactate Firming agent
Carmines Coloring agent
β-Carotenes, vegetable Coloring agent
Carotenoids Coloring agent
Carrageenan Thickener
Chlorophylls and chlorophyllins, copper complexes Coloring agent
Ethylenediaminetetraacetates Sequestrant, color retention agent, antioxidant, preservative
Ferrous gluconate Color retention agent
Ferrous lactate Color retention agent
Grape skin extract Coloring agent
Microcrystalline wax Glazing agent
Monosodium glutamate Flavor enhancer
Propyl gallate Antioxidant
Riboflavin Coloring agent
Sodium acetate Preservative, acidity regulator
Xanthan gum Thickener

Source: CODEX STAN 192-1995, Codex general standard for food additives, http://www.codexalimentarius.net/­gsfaonline/
docs/CXS_192e.pdf, 2013, Accessed May 1, 2014.
314 Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

edible component as herbs and spices. But, in general, they are not effective at the concentration present
in foods without further concentration and purification. They may also change sensory characteristics of
the food they are added to (Davidson and Branen 2001). Furthermore, production of synthetic additives
is more economical and sustainable as the supply of raw materials does not depend on soil and climate
and the yield is higher compared to those of natural additives (Lee and Khng 2001). Before natural addi-
tives are used in practice, they should be evaluated for safety, stability during processing and storage, and
their effect on sensory properties of food products.
Vegetables are themselves a source for natural food additives. Coloring agents including beet powder,
carrot oil, paprika, saffron and turmeric, and natural colors derived from plants such as chlorophyll,
anthocyanins, beetroot, curcumin, lutein, carotene, and lycopene are in current use (Dobbs and Titchenal
2003; Kendrick 2012). Grape skin extract, a source of anthocyanins, is also a natural color additive
allowed for use in vegetables. In addition, natural antibrowning agents have been explored to find alter-
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natives to sulfite treatment (Ayala-Zavala and González-Aguilar 2010).


Essential oils and phenolic compounds from plants including herbs and spices have been investigated
as natural preservatives (Burt 2004; Ayala-Zavala and González-Aguilar 2010; Delves-Broughton 2012).
Antimicrobial effects of essential oils of clove, cinnamaldehyde, and thyme on mushroom (Gao et  al.
2014), those of sage, rosemary, and bay leaf on fresh-cut carrots (Tornuk et  al. 2011), those of oregano,
mint, and basil on lettuce (Gündüz et al. 2010; Karagözlü et al. 2011) have been evaluated in recent studies.
Effectiveness and stability of natural preservatives have been reported to be less than expected in practice
(Delves-Broughton 2012). One solution to this problem could be use of combination of natural preservatives
with different mechanism of action to increase their effectiveness as in the case of antibrowning agents
(Delves-Broughton 2012). Another solution could be application of hurdle technology where small amounts
of preservatives are used in combination with other preservation methods (Davidson and Zivanovic 2003).
This approach also serves to fulfill consumers’ demand for less processed and less additive containing foods.

14.4 Conclusions
Food additives are important ingredients for presenting safe, nutritious, and high-quality vegetable prod-
ucts to the consumers. But consumers’ demand for foods with less synthetic additives or without addi-
tives is on the rise. Food industry is challenged by both meeting this demand and producing safe and
high-quality foods with long shelf life at low cost. These expectations drive the industry toward the use
of natural food additives. Nevertheless, the use of food additives and the search for their alternatives will
be continued for improvement of safety and quality of food products.

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