Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Map in varying temperature regimes

The Modified Atmosphere Systems in varying Temperature Regimes (MASTER) project involves: modelling to show that the shelf life of fresh produce may be extended in a predictable way by modified atmosphere packaging (MAP); and secondly, a computer programme and database to simulate storage of produce in MAP. This approach allows the proper design of MAP systems in relation to produce type and temperature conditions during storage and distribution. Results to-date include the modelling of respiration in apples, tomatoes and witloof shoots at different temperatures (ie a respiration matrix for four oxygen and five carbon dioxide partial pressures). Nine packaging films have been selected for the tests with a range of permeability coefficients: polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethylene vinyl acetate-polyethylene (EVA-PE), copolyether ester, poly(e)caprolactone, cellulose acetate ds 2.7, cellulose, polystyrene, polypropylene micro-perforated. Special scientific model packages have been constructed and experiments with these and commercial packs have been performed in order to validate the MASTER model. Good agreement has been found between the experimental and predicted data for apples and witloof shoots using PE, PVC and microperforated polypropylene. Preliminary tests indicate that temperature variations are well accommodated by the MASTER model. However, the effects of high humidity on the permeability of the packaging material have yet to be investigated as high humidity can strongly influence the performance of MA packs.

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