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Evaluation and production of ready-to-eat meals
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Ready-to-eat (RTE) is defined as the status of the food being ready for immediate consumption at the point of sale or serve. It could be served as raw or cooked, hot or chilled, and can be consumed without further heat-treatment including reheating (Anon., 2001). RTE vegetables and salads, also called minimally-processed products, are raw products that must preserve as much as possible the nutritional, sensorial and microbial qualities of fresh products. A very wide range of vegetables are used, both cut and whole. Even during refrigerated storage, the fresh fruits and vegetables are characterized by active metabolism.