Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 901–913 | Cite as

Effects of Vacuum Impregnation with Calcium Lactate and Pectin Methylesterase on Quality Attributes and Chelate-Soluble Pectin Morphology of Fresh-Cut Papayas

  • Hongshun Yang
  • Qiongying Wu
  • Li Ying Ng
  • Shifei Wang
Original Paper


Vacuum impregnation was used to improve the quality attributes of fresh-cut papayas. Vacuum pressure of 5 kPa was applied for 5 min, then calcium lactate (1%, w/w) and pectin methylesterase (PME) (15 U/ml), alone and in combinations (calcium lactate plus PME), were vacuum impregnated into fresh-cut papaya cubes. Papaya cubes were stored at 4 °C, and the quality of fresh-cut papaya was studied at intervals for 8 days. The hardness and chewiness levels of fresh-cut papayas that were treated with calcium lactate and PME were 8.02 and 7.83 times of untreated fresh-cut papayas at day 8, respectively. After vacuum impregnation, colour of fresh-cut papayas changed significantly (P < 0.05) and an overall weight loss was observed as well. Chelate-soluble pectin (CSP) was extracted and its content correlated well with texture properties of fresh-cut papayas. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of CSP were conducted using atomic force microscopy. The proportion of chain widths greater than 45 nm had increased 35.0% in fresh-cut papayas vacuum impregnated with calcium lactate and PME at the end of storage. The results indicate that a combination of calcium ions and PME was able to maximally preserve the quality attributes of fresh-cut papayas and extend the shelf life.


Vacuum impregnation Fresh-cut papaya Calcium lactate Pectin methylesterase Chelate-soluble pectin Atomic force microscopy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (R-143-000-583-112), project 31371851 supported by NSFC, and an industry grant supported by Changzhou Qihui Management and Consulting Co., Ltd. (R-143-000-616-597).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Science and Technology Programme, c/o Department of ChemistryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  2. 2.National University of Singapore (Suzhou) Research InstituteSuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of BiotechnologyJiangsu University of Science and TechnologyZhenjiangPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Changzhou Qihui Management and Consulting Co., Ltd.ChangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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