Of the global carrot production, 20–30% is outgraded as carrot rejects and waste (CRW) at the primary processing level, which is partially used toward animal feed and the remaining ends in the landfills. This study was undertaken to identify the hurdles and seek potential solutions for using CRW in food processing.
CRW were procured from the processing unit in Ontario, Canada, as (1) outgraded carrots (OGCs) and (2) processed discards (PDs). The physical parameters of CRW, imperfections responsible for their separation from the graded carrots and shelf-life studies were recorded.
A significant difference with p ≤ 0.05 was recorded for both the physical parameters and the nature of imperfections in CRW. Discolored carrots (42.37 ± 3.59%) and the presence of vertical splits (52.71 ± 3.18%) were among the top defects in the OGCs. In contrast, the presence of broken tips (54.83 ± 2.52%) and vertical splits (40.56 ± 2.65%) were among the primary cause for the generation of PDs. In total, five percent of CRW were initially infected, which later increased to 30% during the seven days storage period.
The limitation of the study was that only two varieties of carrots were considered and these were procured from one processor (the authors’ industry partner) at different time intervals of the year. Microbiological analysis could not be completed and reported due to prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation but is included for future studies.
Development of specialized post-harvest packaging and handling protocols and separation of infected fragments are essential before suggesting the use of CRW in food processing.
Numerous studies report on the post-harvest management and processing of graded carrots, but limited to no studies are published on the usage of CRW in food processing.
The authors sincerely thank the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for funding project QC-ON IA118809/FP-7 through Quebec-Ontario Cooperation for Agri-Food Research Competition and the industry partner Smith Gardens, for providing the raw material for the research study.
Kaur, G.J., Orsat, V. and Singh, A. (2021), "Challenges and potential solutions to utilization of carrot rejects and waste in food processing", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 6, pp. 2036-2048. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2020-0741
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