MA-packages in simulated retail conditions maintained sweet cherry fruit quality
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionActa Horticulturae. 2018, 1194 641-648. 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1194.92
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) may inhibit undesirable quality changes of fruit and vegetables. The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effect of MAP on selected quality parameters for sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) stored at simulated distribution chain temperatures. ‘Lapins’ sweet cherries with maturity grade 4-5 and 6-7 were packaged in macroperforated polyethylene “carry bags” (control) and in trays wrapped in a laser perforated film giving passive modified atmosphere (MAP). After packaging, the cherries were stored at 4°C for 5 days and thereafter for 3 days at 4°C (chill) or 20°C (retail) simulating storage at chill or room temperature in the grocery stores. Headspace gas atmosphere in the MA packages, fruit quality, weight loss and amount of fungal fruit decay and other decays were recorded after 1, 5 and 8 days of storage. The gas atmosphere in MA packages was approximately 18% O2 and 4% CO2 at 4°C and between 6-9% O2 and 12-14% CO2 at 20°C. The weight loss was negligible in the MA packages at both storage conditions, whereas the cherries in carry bags showed a weight loss from 1 to 4%. The stem colour was significantly browner in the carry bags compared to the MA packages after 8 days of retail storage. Fungal decay was below 0.5% for both maturity grades stored at chill conditions for 8 days. At retail conditions, 4 and 6% decay was detected for maturity grade 4-5 in MA-packages and carry bags, respectively. For maturity grade 6- 7, the MA-packages had 9% decay and the carry bags 7%. The overall picture was that MA packaging for sweet cherries better maintained the fruit quality than the carry bags during the storage period of 8 days at two simulated retail conditions.