S. Pérez-Balibrea, C. García-Viguera, S. Castillo, M. Serrano, D. Valero
Consumption of fresh germinated vegetables (i.e., sprouts) is one of the fastest-growing industries due to the increasing demand by consumers for healthy convenience food. In this work, broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italic) sprouts were packaged by using commercial films composed of polyester-polypropylene differing in thickness (P (12-50 µm), M (12-60 µm) and I (12-72 µm)) and then stored at 1°C for 16 days. Gas composition, visual quality and microbial counts (molds and yeasts and mesophilic aerobes) were assessed to determine the effects of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the shelf-life of the sprouts. The package atmosphere analysis showed an increase of CO2 and a decrease in O2 levels throughout the storage period in the films, although atmospheric composition inside the packages was significantly different depending on the film used. On the other hand, those broccoli sprouts packed with the film having the lowest permeability exhibited the highest concentration of ethylene. The initial mesophilic counts of the packed broccoli sprouts was 8.1 log cfu•g-1 and no significant differences were observed in the mesophilic bacterial population in any of the thermo-sealed packages during the 16 days of cold storage. With respect to mold and yeast counts in broccoli sprouts, the initial load of 4.3 log cfu•g-1 was significantly decreased in all the packaging conditions. Overall results suggest that the use of a film generating a gas composition of 18% O2 + 0.36% CO2 was the best option to avoid anaerobic metabolism during postharvest handling the retail sale period of this novel, healthy and convenient food.
Pérez-Balibrea, S., García-Viguera, C., Castillo, S., Serrano, M. and Valero, D. (2015). MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING FOR BROCCOLI SPROUTS AFFECTED BY FILM PERMEABILITY. Acta Hortic. 1071, 269-274
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1071.33
oxygen, carbon dioxide, ethylene, mesophilic bacteria, mold, yeast

Acta Horticulturae