Prolonging the shelf-life of fresh green chile peppers through modified atmosphere packaging and low temperature storage

Marisa M. Wall, Robert Berghage, Jr.

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Abstract

The postharvest quality of green chile fruit was compared after storage in 3 types of packages at 2 temperatures (24C and 8C). Package types were corrugated cardboard boxes, pressed cardboard trays overwrapped with VF-71 polyethylene, or low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags. Fruit packaged in boxes or overwrapped trays had 24.8% and 10.1% weight loss, respectively, after 1 week of storage at 24C. Fruit packaged in polyethylene bags lost 0.3% weight and remained green. After 1 week at 8C, the weight losses were 3.8%, 1.8% and 0% for the boxed, overwrapped and bagged treatments, respectively. Postharvest quality was maintained up to 4 weeks when fruit were packaged in LDPE bags and stored at 8C. In a second study, steady state O2 and CO2 levels were determined inside the LDPE packages as fruit weight and temperature were varied. Storage temperatures were 24C, 16C and 8C. At 8C, steady state O2 levels ranged from 12.0 kPa to 0.9 kPa, and CO2 levels ranged from 2.0 kPa to 4.6 kPa as fruit weight was increased from 120 to 480 g. At 24C and 16C, fruit packaged in 480 g units had slower ripening rates than fruit packaged in smaller units; however, fruit stored at 8C remained green the longest, regardless of fruit weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-477
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food Quality
Volume19
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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