EFFECTS OF MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING ON QUALITY AND SHELF-LIFE OF PARTIALLY DEHYDRATED RED BELL PEPPER
The efficacy of different modified atmospheres (MA) was investigated for extending the shelf-life of partially dehydrated strips of red pepper. The fruits were packaged in polypropylene trays using air (control) and two active MA (3/5 and 10/5 kPa O2/kPa CO2, respectively). The samples were stored at 8°C. Changes in gas composition in the packages and mass loss, water activity (Aw), pH, color, firmness and microbial growth on peppers were periodically evaluated. Regardless of the atmosphere used, weight loss was negligible and Aw remained unchanged during the storage period. The best results were obtained with a MA of 10 kPa O2/5 kPa CO2. Under these conditions, neither gas composition nor physicochemical and microbial quality of the peppers changed significantly until day 35. The color, pH and firmness of the peppers held in a MA of 3-kPa O2/5-kPa CO2 remained unchanged throughout the storage period. However, O2 decreased to very low concentrations and CO2 levels significantly increased after day 14. By day 21, excessive juice leakage and microbial growth were observed in the samples in low-O2 MAP. The reduction in the pH and the loss of lightness, red color and firmness were greater and detected earlier in control samples compared with those peppers held in active MA. The active MAP also delayed microbial growth and the counts were lower when compared with the control. In all samples, both the mesophilic and psychrotrophic populations were below the acceptable counts established by the Spanish legislation, whilst molds and yeasts exceeded those limits. Based on these results, the shelf-life of the peppers held in air and low-O2 MAP was 17 days, whereas packing the peppers with 10 kPa O2 extended the shelf-life of the samples up to 38 days.
Horvitz, S. and Cantalejo, M.J. (2015). EFFECTS OF MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING ON QUALITY AND SHELF-LIFE OF PARTIALLY DEHYDRATED RED BELL PEPPER. Acta Hortic. 1071, 231-236
Capsicum annuum, dehydration, hurdle technology, refrigeration, storage