PACKAGE HEADSPACE DYNAMICS FOR BABY CORN UNDER MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING WITH MACROPERFORATIONS

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

Baby corn is highly perishable and requires appropriate postharvest technologies such as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) to extend its shelf ife and maintain the nutritional content. However, MAP requires repetitive experimentation to arrive at suitable desired in‐pack partial pressures of O2 and CO2 for application of appropriate MAP mode viz. nonperforated, macroperforated or microperforated one. Microperforated MAP is an expensive proposition and so far has limited commercial applicability, except for high‐value commodities; therefore, macroperforated MAP is being tried to achieve higher gaseous diffusion across the film packages. Predictive modeling represents a physical phenomenon by means of mathematical equations; whose numerical solution can reliably predict transient and steady‐state parameters in a dynamic system and can avoid the need of repetitive experimentation. However, representation of the respiratory behavior of a crop is also of utmost importance as wrong selection or very straightforward assumptions can lead to inadequate predictions. In this study, the respiratory behavior and associated inhibition by CO2 as per established enzyme kinetics theory was first assessed within the temperature range of 5–15C for baby corn; which was then used to model‐predict the in‐pack partial pressures of O2 and CO2 at 10 and 15C; in nonperforated and macroperforated polypropylene film packages; utilizing baby corn, polymeric film, package and the storage environment parameters as input. Model validation during actual storage at 10 and 15C indicated that the model‐predicted, in‐pack partial pressures of O2 and CO2 agreed fairly well with the experimental observations at the selected temperatuers, which showed the appropriateness of the evaluated inhibitory mechanism of headspace CO2.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Baby corn has high rates of respiration and requires specialized packaging such as microperforated or macroperforated polymeric film packaging to affect larger gaseous diffusion to extend its shelf life and maintenance of various physicochemical constituents under modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). As microperforated films are economically unviable in certain situations, the objective can be met through application of macroperforated films having customized macroperforations. However, the package headspace dynamics vary with the number of macroperforations. For a particular crop, the number of macroperforations required to generate the ideal in‐pack partial pressures of O2 and CO2 can be suitably predicted with this model, knowing the respiratory behavior and the kind of inhibition by CO2 experienced. Thus, results of the study have a potential application at the level of design of MAP for various crops requiring macroperforated packaging as well as these can be utilized alike for further academic interest in the area of packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables; using predictive modeling approach.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-4530.2010.00580.x

Affiliations: 1: Central Institute of Post-harvest Engineering and Technology, Punjab Agricultural University Campus, Ludhiana 141004, India 2: Water Technology Centre for Eastern Region, Chandershekharpur, Bhubaneshwar, India

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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