Enzymatic browning because of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs) contributes to the color quality of fruit and vegetable (FV) products. Physical and chemical methods have been developed to inhibit the activity of PPOs, and several synthetic chemical compounds are commonly being used as PPO inhibitors in FV products. Recently, there has been an emphasis on consumer-oriented innovations in the food industry. Consumers tend to urge the use of natural and environment-friendly PPO inhibitors. The purpose of this review is to summarize the mechanisms underlying the anti-browning action of chemical PPO inhibitors and current trends in the research on these inhibitors. Based on their mechanisms of action, chemical inhibitors can be categorized as antioxidants, reducing agents, chelating agents, acidulants, and/or mixed-type PPO inhibitors. Here, we focused on the food ingredients, dietary components, food by-products, and waste associated with anti-browning activity.
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