Journal Published Online: 21 May 2007
Volume 35, Issue 5

Testing and Evaluation of Quality Changes of Treated Fresh-Cut Tropical Fruits Packaged in Thermoformed Plastic Containers



Fresh-cut fruit accounted for nearly $300 at retail in the U.S. in 2004, with projected sales ranging between $1 and $2 billion by 2008. The choice of packaging materials and the atmospheric conditions both inside and outside the package contribute significantly to the shelf-life of these products. This study evaluated quality changes such as firmness, color, total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), sensory quality, and microbial safety of fresh-cut mangoes, pineapples, melons, and mixes of these fruits. Chemical treatments to reduce browning, firmness loss, and decay for these fruits were also investigated. The most effective treatments for fresh-cut mangoes, pineapples, and melons were 0.1 M ascorbic acid, 0.2 M ascorbic acid, and 0.2 M ascorbic acid plus 0.2 M calcium chloride, respectively. These fresh-cut tropical fruits were packaged in three semi-rigid containers made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), oriented polystyrene (OPS), and oriented poly(lactide) (OPLA). Gas composition in the package headspace and the time to reach steady-state conditions were observed to vary among fresh-cut packaging systems and affected their quality and shelf-life. The effects of package permeability, with regards to O2 and CO2, on quality and shelf-life of the fresh-cut products are discussed in this paper. Extended shelf-life was observed in fresh-cut mangoes, pineapples, and mixes packaged in PET due to reduced O2 and elevated CO2 atmosphere. Modified atmosphere of 6% O2 and 14% CO2 achieved in PET extended the shelf-life of fresh-cut pineapples from 6 to 13 days. The results suggest that shelf-life of fresh-cut fruit could be extended using appropriate semi-rigid containers.

Author Information

Singh, S.
School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Chonhenchob, V.
Department of Packaging Technology, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand
Chantarasomboon, Y.
Department of Packaging Technology, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand
Singh, J.
Orfalea College of Business, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
Pages: 7
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JTE100166
ISSN: 0090-3973
DOI: 10.1520/JTE100166