Modified atmosphere packaging effects on the postharvest quality of papaya fruit
Export of Fijian papaya (Carica papaya) fruit to destinations such as New Zealand has increased significantly over the last several years. Shipment by sea rather than air is the preferred method, given the capacity for larger volumes and reductions in cost. Long shipping times, however, can compromise fruit quality, although the use of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) may provide a viable solution for extending fruit storage life. In a collaborative ACIAR project, Australian and Fijian researchers investigated the potential of using MAP to extend storage life of a Fijian papaya ('Fiji Red') fruit based on simulated sea transport conditions. Fruit were packed in one of three MAP environments within cartons, consisting of either a (1) Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) bag with 10 g of KMnO4, (2) Polyamide Film (PF) bag with macro-perforations or (3) without a bag (control fruit). Fruit were held for 1, 2 or 3 weeks at 10°C before being unpacked, ripened and assessed for quality. On day 6 after outturn, fruit with the highest overall quality were those held in LDPE bags. LDPE fruit generally coloured up faster at outturn than PF or control fruit, had less overall moisture loss and scored high in flavour. Headspace carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations within the LDPE bags were also near recommended levels for maintaining optimum storage-life quality. The LDPE bag provided the most suitable conditions for long term storage of fresh papaya fruit and is therefore the recommended MAP type for use with sea freight export out of Fiji.
Sole, D., Henriod, R., Diczbalis, Y., Stice, K.N. and Tora, L. (2016). Modified atmosphere packaging effects on the postharvest quality of papaya fruit. Acta Hortic. 1111, 119-124
Carica papaya, simulated transport, fruit quality, respiration