Influence of thermal treatment on color, enzyme activities, and antioxidant capacity of innovative pastelike parsley products.J Agric Food Chem 2012; 60(12):3291-301JA
Conventional spice powders are often characterized by low sensory quality and high microbial loads. Furthermore, genuine enzymes are only inhibited but not entirely inactivated upon drying, so that they may regain their activity upon rehydration of dried foods. To overcome these problems, initial heating was applied in the present study as the first process step for the production of innovative pastelike parsley products. For this purpose, fresh parsley was blanched (80, 90, and 100 °C for 1-10 min) and subsequently comminuted to form a paste. Alternatively, mincing was carried out prior to heat treatment. Regardless of temperature, the color of the latter product did not show any change after heating for 1 min. With progressing exposure time the green color turned to olive hues due to marked pheophytin formation. Inactivation of genuine peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) was achieved at all temperature-time regimes applied. In contrast, the parsley products obtained after immediate water-blanching were characterized by brighter green colors and enhanced pigment retention. With the exception of the variants water-blanched at 80 °C, POD and PPO were completely inactivated at any of the thermal treatments. Furthermore, in water-blanched samples, antioxidant capacities as determined by the TEAC and FRAP assays were even enhanced compared to unheated parsley, whereas a decrease of phenolic contents could not be prevented. Consequently, the innovative process presented in this study allows the production of novel herb and spice products characterized by improved sensory quality as compared to conventional spice products.