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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kim, Ji Gang
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny
item Gross, Kenneth

Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2003
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Kim, J., Luo, Y., Gross, K.C. 2003. Effect of packaging film in the quality of fresh-cut salad savoy. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 32(2004)99-107

Interpretive Summary: We have developed a modified atmosphere packaging system for fresh-cut salad savoy, a new valued addition in fresh-cut (pre-cut and packaged) salad mixes. Modified atmospheres (oxygen and carbon dioxide) are used in packages to minimize respiration of the product to maintain quality and extend shelf-life. By optimizing the package atmospheres via selection of suitable plastic films of desired oxygen transmission rate, we demonstrated a technology that can successfully maintain good quality fresh-cut salad savoy for up to 25 days at 40 degrees F, about 10 days longer than most fresh-cut vegetables currently available. This research is of practical value to the fresh-cut industry, and therefore the consumer as well, in marketing their pre-cut salad products; it is also of scientific significance to other postharvest biologists and food technologists in terms of how package film oxygen transmission rate affects package atmospheres, and the consequence of films on postharvest biology, quality, and microbiology of fresh-cut vegetables.

Technical Abstract: Salad savoy is a new vegetable crop and is becoming a valued addition to fresh-cut mixes. This study was conducted to develop a modified atmosphere packaging system for fresh-cut salad savoy. Two varieties of salad savoy (white and violet) were packaged in sealed 19 x 22 cm polypropylene bags with selected oxygen transmission rates (OTR) of 1700, 3500, 4500, and 6200 ml oxygen per day per square meter, and stored at 5 degrees C for 25 days. Evaluation parameters included color, cut-end discoloration (browning), off-odor, decay and overall quality. Results indicated that packaging film OTR significantly (P<0.05) affected package atmospheres, product quality and shelf-life. Packages with 3500 and 4500 OTR films achieved the desired oxygen (1.4 to 3.8 %) and carbon dioxide (4.2 to 5.1 %) levels throughout the storage period; products stored in these packages maintained freshness with higher overall quality scores. Packages with 1700 OTR film exhibited a rapid depletion of oxygen (to 0%) and accumulation of carbon dioxide (11.0 to 12.6 %), resulting in off-odor, decay and unacceptable quality at the end of storage. Samples from packages prepared with 6200 OTR film developed discoloration on the cut-ends due to high oxygen (6.0 to 7.9 %) in the packages. White salad savoy had higher respiration and lower quality scores than violet salad savoy. Overall, both white and violet salad savoy maintained good quality and shelf-life throughout the 25 days storage period under optimum package atmospheres.

Last Modified: 07/27/2017
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