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Discoloration Of Coleslaw Is Caused By Chlorophyll Degradation

James W. Heaton, R. Yada, A. Marangoni
Published 1996 · Chemistry

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Coleslaw tissue was extracted and analyzed spectrophotometrically for chlorophyll and its derivatives to determine their relationship to tissue discoloration and/or browning at 5 °C under reduced oxygen conditions. A general rapid decrease in chlorophyll a and b was noted after 2−3 days, with a concomitant increase in the amount of pheophytin a and b. The pheophytin was then converted to pheophorbide a and b, which resulted in gray/brown coleslaw after 12−15 days of storage. Polyphenol oxidase activity in cabbage was determined to be very low (81.6 units/g fresh tissue), whereas chlorophyllase activity was very high (23 nmol/min/g fresh tissue). This result suggested that the gray/brown pigments formed were mainly the result of chlorophyll degradation. No change in pH (∼4.6) was observed during storage. A substantial change in the color of the product was, however, observed as analyzed by blue light reflection with an Agtron colorimeter. The pathway for chlorophyll degradation in coleslaw at 5 °C was dete...



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