You open an apple, eat half of it, and save the rest for later.When you go back to the refrigerator and enjoy this piece of fruitits flesh has begun to turn black. Apple is starting to rust. Does this mean we should automatically throw it away?
every second more than 79 tons of food, that is, more than 2.5 billion tons per year.almost only spain Eight million tons of grain per year They end up in the trash, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Avoiding this food waste is not only crucial for our wallets, but is also an ethical and social issue as well as reducing waste. Impact on the environment.
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Understanding the science behind food processing is key to reducing this waste.this fruits and vegetablesthe basic building blocks of a healthy diet are Very easy to oxidize, the natural reaction of vegetable pulp to the oxygen in the air we breathe. This oxidation makes the fruit a less appealing snack, but even if the color changes, is it safe to eat?
this School of Nutrition and Dietetics Organized explanations and suggestions Alfonso RojasDirector of the fruit and vegetable department of Spanish ALDI and senior agricultural engineer. Experts give the key to understanding why this chemical reaction occurs, plus the easiest home tips to avoid it.
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When this piece is complete, Skin protects dental pulp, rich in water, vitamins, minerals and phytochemical compounds such as phenols. Once the skin is removed, this barrier disappears, allowing the meat inside to be exposed.Compounds such as Phenols are oxidizable substances When in contact with air, it changes and changes pitch. The same happens when it is cut into pieces, as the internal tissue containing phenols that may be oxidized in the presence of oxygen is destroyed.
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Alfonso Rojas, Director of Food & Beverage at Aldi Spain, describes the oxidation process this way: “When in contact with oxygen in the air, oxidizable substances, such as phenolic compounds, are converted into other substances , They naturally acquire different shades From brown to red and even black. “
Color changes and spoilage due to oxidation do not occur in the same way in all fruits and vegetables, as it depends on the amount of oxidizable compounds in each piece of fruit and vegetables. Some species have higher or lower ratios There are many types of phenolic compounds, and just as within the same species, there are also different varieties containing more or less compounds of this nature.
Oxidized fruit may take on an unappetizing appearance and its texture may even be more unpleasant, softer and less firm than normal fruit.However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics clarifies that Oxidation is not a food safety issuethat is, you can eat a loquat, a banana or a peach No risk to our healthand maintain Its nutritional value remains almost intact. Of course, depending on the type of fruit, oxidation, in addition to the loss of phenolic compounds, will also affect the content of some nutrients that are sensitive to light and oxygen, such as vitamin C and carotene.
While it’s safe to eat rusty apples, the reality is that it creates a more unpleasant experience for your taste buds.There are several ways to do this Prevent or delay the oxidation process of fruits or vegetables, homemade tips A very simple way to preserve cut fruit when we have to prepare it in advance or to keep half-eaten fruit safe and intact.
Experts point out several tips to prevent fruit from oxidizing:
- Apply a few drops acid Suitable for eating on the surface of peeled fruits. For example, you can use lemon, lime, or vinegar. “Citrus juice has an acidic pH, which slows down the oxidation process,” Rojas says.
- Cover the fruit with plastic wrap plastic filmthus avoiding contact with air.
- put it in a zipper bag. In this case we have to try to extract as much air as possible from inside the bag before closing it. “Otherwise, it will slow it down, but it won’t be completely avoided because there will still be oxygen left,” Rojas said.
- Leave it for a few minutes soak. Water can form a surface film that retards oxidation. However, it must be considered that if this practice continues, it may reduce nutritional content.
- save it in Refrigerator in airtight container Close tightly. The closer it is to the size of the workpiece, the less air there will be and therefore the less oxidation.
- freeze Instantly. However, it must be considered that many things lose their crunchy texture when frozen. Although they are not suitable for eating raw when you take them out, they are great for smoothies, purees, stews…