Analysis of commercially available packages of fresh-cut fruits
A market survey was conducted on fresh-cut fruit packages commercially available in the major supermarket chains in Ireland. Commercial packages containing mixed fresh-cut fruits were analysed for amount of fruit (and their proportion if mixed), gas composition of each package, breathable film area, label area, package geometry, package volume, and amount of liquid in the package. Most of the packages studied deviated from the optimal gas composition recommended for maintaining quality and extending shelf-life of fresh and fresh-cut fruits. More than 60% of the packages studied were found to have O2 concentration between 9 to 21% and CO2 concentration between 0 to 12%. Although high O2 concentration is not harmful, it does not help in gaining benefits of MAP technology. The extreme gas composition (1.3% O2 and 14.8% CO2, both crossing the critical limit) was found to be in a package containing melon-pineapple-mango sticks. This might be due to a very small breathable film packaging area of 23.6 cm2 available for gas exchange. The ratio of net product weight per unit volume of package was found to be between 0.4 to 0.6 g cm-3 for all the packages tested. The package with pineapple chunks contained highest amount of liquid (6 to 10% of net product weight) which might have oozed out through the cut tissues of pineapple chunks.
Mahajan, P.V. and Sousa-Gallagher, M.J. (2018). Analysis of commercially available packages of fresh-cut fruits. Acta Hortic. 1209, 453-458
fresh produce, respiration, packaging, modified atmosphere, retail