Model for simulation of gas, moisture and condensation dynamics in packaged fresh produce
Fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables continue physiological and metabolic processes after harvest. These result in loss of nutritional quality and accelerated senescence (at sub-optimal conditions) with limited shelf life. Modified atmosphere packaging systems offers an opportunity that creates an ideal gas conditions suitable for some fresh commodities. However, it also creates an ideal humid environment suitable for increased microbial growth. This study presents an advanced model to simulate gas and moisture inside a packaged fresh produce. This model was developed considering respiration, transpiration of fresh produce and also gas and water vapour permeability of packaging materials. Additionally, active moisture absorber was also added in order to simulate the condensation dynamics and predict relative humidity in the dynamic time-temperature profile. Such active moisture absorber consisted of humidity-regulating trays with salt embedded into the walls of plastic tray. Moisture absorption models have been previously developed to predict moisture sorption characteristics as a function of temperature and humidity and used in this model. The model was further implemented for simulating package atmosphere and experimentally validated under dynamic storage conditions for strawberries and plums. Future prospects of including the shelf-life predictive models to improve the capability of the simulation program are highlighted.
Jalali, A., Linke, M. and Mahajan, P.V. (2021). Model for simulation of gas, moisture and condensation dynamics in packaged fresh produce. Acta Hortic. 1311, 263-272
respiration, transpiration, moisture absorption, modified atmosphere packaging, humidity regulation