Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Technology

Major Professor

Svetlana Zivanovic

Committee Members

John Mount, Carl Sams


Applesauce prepared for the US military is processed as MRE (meals-ready-to-eat) in several forms including Type VI - Applesauce with raspberry puree, and Type VII - Carbohydrate enriched applesauce. Production of MRE applesauce starts with commercially prepared and thermally processed applesauce that is further processed by a military contractor. The further processing includes adjusting pH, ºBrix, and ascorbic acid level, packaging into pouches, and again thermally processing. Both types of the MRE applesauce are very much liked by troops, but under stress storage applesauce darkens and its consumption is drastically reduced. The overall goal of this project was to identify additives to be used during further processing in order to slow darkening when exposed to elevated temperatures during shipping and storage. The specific objective was to determine whether different types of ascorbic acid, calcium salts, or addition of chelators can reduce deterioration under stress storage. Applesauce (AS), applesauce with raspberry puree (RPAS), MRE AS (Type VII) and MRE RPAS (Type VI) for all experiments were provided by Sopakco, Bennettsville S.C. The research was carried out in three phases. From the Phase 1, we learned that Type VII and Type VI darkened at faster rates at the beginning of the storage, but the effects of storage at 50°C for more than 2 weeks overcame any differences caused by further processing. Phase 2 helped us determine the formulations for the processing on the industrial scale. The formulations were: 0.15% L-ascorbic-acid (AA), and 0.15% AA with 300 ppm EDTA for both AS and RPAS, with 0.83% calcium lactate gluconate (CLG) for AS, and 0.15% ascorbyl-palmitate for RPAS. The results from the Phase 3 indicated that AS with addition of CLG and RPAS with total of 0.18% AA had the least total color change. In all samples, accumulation of HMF was related to amount of ascorbic acid with exception of samples with Pal which had the lowest HMF content. Our results indicate that current MRE Types VI and VII may have better stability at stress storage if the level of AA is limited to 0.18% and 0.83% CLG is added to the AS formulation.

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