During the production and storage of roughly-processed vegetables, chemical and biochemical processes occur that cause their quality to decrease. The process of vegetable ageing during long term storage consists in that their physiological activity and ability to adapt to unfavourable environmental conditions decrease. One of the methods to limit those processes without loosing their functional properties is to coat vegetables with edible films. This research study was an attempt to determine the effect of coating the freshly-chopped parsley roots with the use of a chitosan film on changes in the antioxidant properties thereof that result from, among other things, the changes in the content of phenolic compounds including flavonoids and phenolic acids. Also, the dynamics was studied of the aging processes linked with the degradation of polysaccharides and with further transformations of mono-carbohydrates, which resulted in the loss of weight and changes in the content of dry matter in the vegetable analyzed. It was found that the antioxidant activity of chitosan-coated parsley increased owing to the biosynthesis stimulation of phenolic compounds including the phenolic acids and flavonoids. It was evidenced that the coating of parsley slices using a chitosan film caused, from the third storage week on, the polysaccharide decomposition process and further carbohydrate transformation processes in the samples analyzed to inhibit.
parsley, chitosan coatings, polyphenols, antioxidant activity