Influence of Modified Atmosphere Packaging on Storability and Postharvest Quality of Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas L.) Fruits
Keywords:ascorbic acid; ethylene; quality parameters; shelf life; total phenolics
Cornelian cherries were stored in two types of polymeric films (low density polyethylene and polypropylene) and three gas combinations 5%O2 + 20%CO2 + 75%N2, 60%O2 + 20%CO2 + 20%N2 and Air) at 1 °C and 90-95% relative humidity for 35 days. Unpackaged cornelian cherries were used as a control. Samples were taken initially and at intervals of 7-days during storage, when quality parameters were measured. Results showed that modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) allowed the stored fruits to retain their weight and visual quality throughout the experiment, regardless of the gas combinations used, while by the end of the storage period the unpackaged fruit lost over 30% of their weight and consequently visual quality. Overall, packaging in 60%O2 + 20%CO2 polypropylene (PP) and air low density polyethylene (LDPE) could retard soluble solid contents, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid, anthocyanin index decrease and pH increase during the storage time. Additionally, such packaging could lead to better surface color preservation than that of fruits kept in open containers. Furthermore, packaging in air low density polyethylene and 60%O2 + 20%CO2 low density polyethylene could delay total phenolics accumulation and increase peroxidase activity to levels higher than those in the control. During the maintenance period, no symptoms of decay were observed.
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