L-galactono-ç-lactone dehydrogenase and vitamin C content in fresh-cut potatoes stored under controlled atmospheres

Author(s): Tudela JA, Hernandez JA, Gil MI, Espin JC


L-galactono-gamma-lactone dehydrogenase (GLDH) activity and vitamin C content as ascorbic acid (AA) plus dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) were evaluated in five potato tuber cultivars (Agata, Altesse, Franceline, Manon, and Monalisa). The effect of fresh-cutting and subsequent refrigerated storage of Manon potato under different atmospheres (air, 20% CO(2) + air, 100% N(2), and vacuum packaging) on GLDH activity and vitamin C content was also determined. GLDH from the five potato tuber cultivars showed typical inhibition kinetics by high substrate concentration in the synthesis of AA from its physiological precursor L-galactonic acid-gamma-lactone (GL). GLDH activity was not correlated with the corresponding vitamin C content in any potato tuber cultivar. GLDH from all the cultivars presented a major isoform with isoelectric point (IEP) 5, which changed to IEP = 4.3 after minimal processing. In addition, the GLDH-catalyzed synthesis of AA by the new isoform showed typical Michaelis kinetics, in which the enzyme became more efficient to catalyze the reaction. Whether the change in the isoform pattern was due to either post-translational modifications or de novo synthesis of a new isoenzyme remains unanswered. Fresh-cutting increased GLDH activity from 4.7-fold (vacuum packaging) to 11-fold (air) after 6 days. In addition, 100% of vitamin C content was retained in air and decreased in the rest of atmospheres after this storage period, following the sequence vacuum packaging (89%) > 100% N(2) (78%) > 20% CO(2) + air (63%). This tendency was correlated with the corresponding GLDH activity detected in each storage atmosphere, except in the case of 20% CO(2) + air. Vacuum packaging proved to be the best storage condition, because fresh-cut potatoes did not turn brown and retained 89% of initial vitamin C content.

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