The microperforated packaging design and evaluation of shelf life of fresh-sliced mushrooms
Keywords:modified atmosphere packaging, passive modification, microperforation, fresh-sliced mushrooms, fresh-cut vegetables, shelf life
Fresh mushrooms have a very short shelf life, of 1 – 3 days because of their high respiration rate and lack of cuticles that protect the plant from external factors. In the case of fresh-sliced mushrooms, they will be more susceptible to spoilage reactions due to the increase in respiration rate as a result of a broader surface area. Conventional packaging materials can not meet the requirements for modified atmosphere packaging of fresh-sliced mushrooms. One of the techniques to extend the fresh-cut produce shelf life is the passive modification of modified atmosphere packaging technology. For highly respiring fresh-cut produce such as fresh-sliced mushrooms, the permeability properties of the polymeric materials might not be enough to provide an equilibrium gas concentration in the passive modification of modified atmosphere technology. In this case, the microperforated packaging materials can be used for passive modification of fresh-cut produce. But the microperforation process needs a design for the application of the appropriate number and diameter of microholes to meet the requirements of passive modified atmosphere packaging. For this reason in this research, the design of the microperforation process to be used in passive modified atmosphere packaging was based on the diameter and the number of microholes, and the shelf life of fresh-sliced mushrooms was determined. The samples were stored at 15 °C/80% RH, and pH, color, weight loss, textural, sensorial, and microbial analysis were performed periodically during storage. It was determined that the empirical equation used in this research can be applied to microperforated packaging design for fresh-sliced mushrooms. The shelf life of the fresh-sliced mushrooms packaged with microperforated packaging material was 8 days, while it was less than 7 days (4, 5, or 6 days) when packaged with non-microperforated packaging material. This result shows that the use of microperforated packaging material is effective in extending the shelf life of fresh-sliced mushrooms.
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