This study aimed to evaluate the changes in the phenolic oxidation mediated by polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) in the quality of minimally processed ‘baby cassava’, during the first hours and days of conservation at different temperatures. Pieces of roots of cassava cv. Recife were minimally processed into ‘baby cassava’ form and kept at 5 ± 2 and 25 ± 2°C for 12h and/or 10 days. Fresh weight loss (FWL), visual examination (visual appearance), total soluble phenolics (TSP), fluorescence emission at UV-light, PPO and POD activities were evaluated. Non-refrigerated ‘Baby cassava’ lost overall quality and minimal FWL for 12h. After this period, there was intense darkening, while refrigerated pieces had great quality for 10 days. Non-refrigerated pieces emitted more fluorescence than refrigerated ‘baby cassava’ at 12h, this possibly resulted in the presence of Pseudomoas spp., or fluorescent phenolics compounds. This is associated with an increase of TSP values and PPO and POD activities. On the other hand, the pieces refrigerated at 5 ± 2°C prolong the shelf life until 10 days, suitable for retail market. Moreover, the new form of 'baby cassava' was good for comercialization and consumption, at room temperature, before 12h, an important time for institutional market.
Key words: Manihot esculenta Crantz, baby cassava, peroxidase, polyphenolxidase, browning.
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