Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Plasticized whey protein coatings have been shown to extend the shelf life of fresh produce. This thesis research was designed to determine consumer acceptance and perception of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables (FCFV) and edible coatings (EC) and to determine effects of plasticized whey protein coatings on quality of fresh-cut apples. Two studies were conducted. In the first study, a questionnaire on FCFV and EC was prepared and completed by 611 consumers. The data were analyzed using Probit analysis. In the second study, physical and microbial quality of fresh-cut (FC) apples coated with three whey proteins (30% glycerol added) each at 5% and/or 10% concentrations and water (as control), were determined during 13-day storage at 2°C. Consumers (30%) preferred commercially available FCFV to whole FV due to less preparation time and serving portions. Females were more likely to consume/use FCFV than males. Hispanic/Spanish consumers were less likely to consume/use FCFV compared to Caucasians. As an income level decreased the probability of eating/using FCFV decreased and preference for canned FV to FCFV increased. Compared to Caucasians, Asians were more and Hispanic/Spanish were less aware of EC. Some consumers would not buy coated FCFV if coating materials were of animal origins. A 7% increase in purchase intent was observed after advantages of EC had been described to consumers. The 10%WPC coating was most effective in minimizing weight loss. There were no changes in color lightness of apples coated with WPC/WPI, whereas significantly decreased lightness was observed for control and PHWPC coated samples by the fourth day of storage. Firmness of coated samples did not change after 13-day storage compared to that of the control, which was undesirably soft. Overall, the total plate count ranged from 0-0.54logCFU/g for 10-days storage and no E.coli/Coliforms were detected. This study demonstrates potential of WPC as an EC for FC apples and helps the food industry meet consumer and market demand regarding FCFV.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Witoon Prinyawiwatkul



Included in

Life Sciences Commons