Active Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fresh-cut Bell Peppers: Effect on Quality Indices

  •  Helen Manolopoulou    
  •  Gregory Lambrinos    
  •  George Xanthopoulos    


Fresh-cut green bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) were stored in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) made of impermeable high-density polyethylene film. Two in-packaging atmospheres and storage temperatures (0 oC and 5 oC) were tested. The respiration rate of the unpackaged produce and the in-package gas concentration, mass loss, firmness, skin colour, ascorbic acid and visual quality of the packaged produce were estimated. Cutting, increased respiration rate of the unpackaged produce by 24% compared to the intact produce for the same storage temperature. After 5 days of storage at 5 °C, significant O2 depletion of the active modified atmosphere was found. Limited mass loss (0.4-0.5% of the initial mass) and firmness degradation were estimated in both storage temperatures due to the beneficial effect of packaging. The hue angle (h*) reduction was limited in all cases and the initial green colour was preserved. Initial ascorbic acid content was preserved at 0 °C, but significantly increased at 5 °C. The visual quality of the packaged produce was assessed by six trained panelists and found that was not significantly changed at 0 °C storage. In conclusion, the tested active MAP maintained the initial quality indices of fresh-cut peppers (cv. Twingo F1) for up to 10 days at 0 °C but not at 5 °C.

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