Submitted to: Stewart Postharvest Review
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2007
Publication Date: 4/30/2007
Citation: Zheng, Y., Wang, C.Y. 2007. Effect of high oxygen atmospheres on quality of fruits and vegetables. Stewart Postharvest Review. 6(2):1-8. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: This article addresses the use of high oxygen atmospheres (HOA) and high oxygen modified atmosphere packaging (HOMAP) storage for the preservation and maintenance of the postharvest quality of intact and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. There have been significant technological advances during recent years, especially in improving the sensory and microbial quality and shelf-life of fresh-cut produce as well as inhibiting fruit decay in soft fruits. Under HOA and HOMAP conditions, enzymatic browning and microbial growth on intact and fresh-cut produce are significantly inhibited. In addition, fruit firmness is maintained and antioxidant levels and antioxidant capacity are increased in certain crops in response to superatmospheric oxygen treatment. Therefore, HOA and HOMAP are helpful in maintaining the sensorial, nutritional, and microbial quality of many intact and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. More research is still needed to determine the mechanisms by which superatmospheric O2 exerts its effects.