Peroxidase and lipoxygenase activities and their effect on the stability of polyunsaturated fatty acids in two different varieties of sweet corn (Zea mays L.), Jubilee and GH 2684, during frozen storage Public Deposited

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  • The effect of different blanching treatments and packaging materials on the enzymatic (lipoxygenase and peroxidase) activity and fatty acid stability of two different varieties of sweet corn on the cob (Jubilee and GH 2684) was evaluated during nine months of frozen storage at -23.3°C. The initial moisture content in the kernels of the two sweet corn varieties averaged 72.5%. After nine months of frozen storage the moisture content in the kernels of corn depended greatly on the packaging material used. The ears stored in Cryovac B and E bags showed the best moisture retention (72.2% final moisture content), followed by the polyethylene bags (71.4%) while the ears stored without packaging material showed severe dehydration (70.1%). The peroxidase and lipoxygenase activities were determined using spectrophotometric assays on a crude extract obtained from liquid nitrogen powdered corn. Both unblanched varieties of sweet corn showed similar initial peroxidase specific activity and general behavior during the nine months of frozen storage. The presence of lipoxygenase isozymes with different thermal stabilities in both varieties was suggested by the higher lipoxygenase specific activity found in Jubilee after freezing and nine months of frozen storage (0.135 units/mg protein) compared with the GH 2684 variety (0.115 units/mg protein). Complete inactivation of lipoxygenase was obtained after 9 minutes steam blanching at 100°C. Peroxidase was more heat resistant showing some remaining specific activity after 9 minutes steam blanching with a complete inactivation after 15 minutes steam blanching. No regeneration of either enzyme was observed during the nine months of frozen storage suggesting a permanent disruption of the active site of both enzymes. Relative fatty acid content was determined by gas chromatographic analysis of fatty acids methyl esters. The major fatty acids present in both varieties were palmitic (14.93%), stearic (2.79%), oleic (31.54%), linoleic (46.87%) and linolenic (1.89%) acids. Good stability of the polyunsaturated fatty acids was observed during the nine months storage at -23.3°C, with autoxidation as the main mechanism responsible for the decrease in the relative percent of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Some enzymatic oxidation also occurred, decreasing the linolenic acid content. The control of the degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acids depended mostly on the frozen storage temperature (-23.3°C) and not on the oxygen permeability of the different packaging materials. The results obtained in our study suggested that blanching of the ears of sweet corn had an important effect on reducing the enzyme activity but little effect on the polyunsaturated fatty acid degradation after 9 months of storage at -23.3°C.
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