S. Zeltzer, S. Meir, S. Mayak
The cost of air shipment of flowers is a major factor influencing profitability in the flower trade. Airfreight cost $ 790/ton as compared to $ 297/ton when flowers are exported by sea. To achieve these savings, the vase life of stored flowers must be extended to provide the consumer with equivalent flower quality.
A corrugated modified atmosphere box was developed, which consisted of an inner layer of a differentially permeable polymer incorporated into a craft liner laminated with a tissue paper. The inner layer limits the diffusion of CO2 and water vapour from the box and O2 into the box. In addition, the tissue paper acts to prevent the formation of water droplets on the inside surfaces. The latter are supportive of microorganism proliferation. The internal box atmosphere changes quickly to increase the concentration of CO2 and reduce the concentration of O2 as a result of the flower respiration (Modified Atmosphere Package, MAP).
During simulated shipments the MAP box reduced water loss from the flowers by 10% as compared to the conventional shipping carton. Thus, following shipment, the flowers were judged to have a better appearance than flowers kept in a regular carton box. During the first 2 days of shipment the concentrations of CO2 and O2 inside the box rose to 6%, and declined to 15% respectively, and remained at these concentrations thereafter. At the end of a simulated shipment for 8 days at 2°C, the soluble carbohydrate content of rose flowers in the MAP box was higher than that of rose flowers kept similarly in a regular box.
Flower quality, was found to be good, as evaluated by trained personnel at the flower auctions Test Centrums in the Netherlands. Included are Solidago, Spray Carnations, Roses, Pittosporum, Hypericum and Gypsophilla that exhibited 20, 22, 15, 17, 19 and 14 days respectively.
Zeltzer, S., Meir, S. and Mayak, S. (2001). MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING (MAP) FOR LONG-TERM SHIPMENT OF CUT FLOWERS.. Acta Hortic. 553, 631-634
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.553.152
Gypsofilla, Solidago, Pittosporum, Hypericum, carnation, rose, sugars,water loss.

Acta Horticulturae