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QUAFETY: microperforated active modified atmosphere (MAMA) packaging improves fresh-cut melon shelf-lifeThe research group, led by Victor Rodov at the Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel – The Volcani Centre, has concluded the deliverable N. 3.17. The general aim of the work is controlling spoilage of fresh-cut ready-to-eat (RTE) fruit products without the risk of fermented off-flavour development by applying microperforated active modified atmosphere (MAMA) packaging. The specific objective of the task was building a user-friendly interactive decision-support tool predicting the in-package oxygen level as affected by package parameters (film type and thickness, perforation level, package dimensions, produce load, etc.) in order to help fruit and vegetable processors to adjust MAMA packages to their specific needs.
For the work, scientists used the mathematical model of MA package developed by Fishman et al. (1996) serving as a basis of the decision-support tool.
The interactive tool comprises an Excel spreadsheet in which a user can input values of various parameters characterizing package structure (film area and thickness, oxygen transmission rate, package volume, size and number of perforations, initial atmosphere composition, produce load, etc.) and produce respiratory activity. As an output, the tool provides a prediction of oxygen dynamics in the package and the value of final oxygen steady state concentration. The spreadsheet is embedded in an MS Word document. In addition the decision support tool provides recommendations regarding the ways of determining the product's respiratory coefficient μ. The tool has been validated by comparing its predictions with measured oxygen dynamics in the packages of fresh-cut melons.
Rodov says: "The interactive decision-support tool can be an efficient instrument allowing the processors to use the MAMA packaging approach and thus to control spoilage and maintain quality and flavour of fresh-cut fruit and vegetable RTE products".
For further info: http://www.israelagri.com/?CategoryID=400&ArticleID=646
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