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Fruit ripening phenomena--an overview.

Prasanna, V. and Prabha, T. N. and Tharanathan, R. N. (2007) Fruit ripening phenomena--an overview. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 47 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1040-8398

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Fruits constitute a commercially important and nutritionally indispensable food commodity. Being a part of a balanced diet, fruits play a vital role in human nutrition by supplying the necessary growth regulating factors essential for maintaining normal health. Fruits are widely distributed in nature. One of the limiting factors that influence their economic value is the relatively short ripening period and reduced post-harvest life. Fruit ripening is a highly coordinated, genetically programmed, and an irreversible phenomenon involving a series of physiological, biochemical, and organoleptic changes, that finally leads to the development of a soft edible ripe fruit with desirable quality attributes. Excessive textural softening during ripening leads to adverse effects/spoilage upon storage. Carbohydrates play a major role in the ripening process, by way of depolymerization leading to decreased molecular size with concomitant increase in the levels of ripening inducing specific enzymes, whose target differ from fruit to fruit. The major classes of cell wall polysaccharides that undergo modifications during ripening are starch, pectins, cellulose, and hemicelluloses. Pectins are the common and major components of primary cell wall and middle lamella, contributing to the texture and quality of fruits. Their degradation during ripening seems to be responsible for tissue softening of a number of fruits. Structurally pectins are a diverse group of heteropolysaccharides containing partially methylated D-galacturonic acid residues with side chain appendages of several neutral polysaccharides. The degree of polymerization/esterification and the proportion of neutral sugar residues/side chains are the principal factors contributing to their (micro-) heterogeneity. Pectin degrading enzymes such as polygalacturonase, pectin methyl esterase, lyase, and rhamnogalacturonase are the most implicated in fruit-tissue softening. Recent advances in molecular biology have provided a better understanding of the biochemistry of fruit ripening as well as providing a hand for genetic manipulation of the entire ripening process. It is desirable that significant breakthroughs in such related areas will come forth in the near future, leading to considerable societal benefits.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: fruit ripening, cell wall polysaccharides, pectin, pectic enzymes, polygalacturonase
Subjects: 600 Technology > 08 Food technology
600 Technology > 08 Food technology > 24 Fruits
Divisions: Dept. of Biochemistry
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2008 06:04
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2016 12:20
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/1883

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