Abstract

Fresh products, such as cloudy apple juice, could be preserved from early spoilage through the application of non-thermal processes such as sonication. However, shelf-life analyses based on microbiological and sensory evaluations are expensive and time consuming. Few studies have applied near infrared spectroscopy to evaluate the quality and decay of apple juices. Here, a feasibility trial was conducted to study the spectral behaviour at 1300–2500 nm combined with chemometric approaches. The shelf-life was monitored during two experiments, a challenge test with juices inoculated with spoilage yeasts (inoculated non-sonicated (INS)) and then submitted to sonication treatments (inoculated sonicated (IS)), and a storage test to evaluate the spoilage on non-inoculated juices (non-inoculated non-sonicated (NINS)) and sonicated non-inoculated juices (non-inoculated sonicated (NIS)). These experiments were investigated at six different refrigeration times 7, 14, 21, 28 and 60 days. Two functions were modelled to describe the behaviours of the first principal component according to the storage time. In agreement with a previous chemical and sensory evaluation, this approach allowed us to highlight shelf-life end points of 7 and 14 days for non-sonicated and sonicated samples, respectively. Three different models were evaluated for classification purposes: (1) sonicated versus non-treated samples, (2) end-point shelf-life evaluation at seven days for the NINS and INS juices and (3) end-point shelf-life discrimination at 14 days for IS and NIS samples. A partial least square-discriminant analysis enabled a group classification with accuracy values ranging from 0.63 to 1.00. The application of a variable importance in projection index to interpret the wavelengths of the spectral features suggests a contribution of organic acids and lipids to the prediction of decay. A canonical discriminant analysis provided a clearer separation of samples according to the storage time, especially in relation to the two time thresholds of 7 and 14 days.

© 2019 The Author(s)

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Supplementary Material (2)

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