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Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

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Journal of Food Engineering

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Effects of passive and active modied atmosphere packaging conditions

on ready-to-eat table grape
C. Costa b, A. Lucera b, A. Conte a,b, M. Mastromatteo a, B. Speranza b, A. Antonacci c, M.A. Del Nobile a,b,
Istituto per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodotti Tipici e di Qualit, BIOAGROMED,
Universit degli Studi di Foggia, Via Napoli, 25 71100 Foggia, Italy
Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25 71100 Foggia, Italy
CRA-UTV Unit di ricerca per luva da tavola e la vitivinicoltura in ambiente mediterraneo, Via Casamassima, 148 70010 Turi, Italy

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 15 September 2009
Received in revised form 9 April 2010
Accepted 1 August 2010
Available online 6 August 2010
Table grape
Modied atmosphere conditions
Shelf life

a b s t r a c t
The effects of passive and active modied atmosphere packaging conditions (MAP) on quality of packaged
table grape were investigated. To this aim, three lms made up of oriented polypropylene and characterized by a different thickness (20, 40 and 80 lm, respectively) were used to package the grape in air (passive MAP) and under three different initial headspace gas compositions (active MAP). As controls, grape
samples were also stored without packaging. During a prolonged storage period at refrigerated temperature (5 C) the headspace gas concentrations, the mass loss, the microbiological stability and the sensory
acceptability were monitored. Results obtained highlight that all selected packaging lms signicantly
prevent product decay, thus promoting a substantial shelf life prolongation, if compared to the unpackaged product. In particular, the best results were recorded with the thickest polymeric matrix sealed in
air, that assured a shelf life more than 70 days. The active MAPs were not found signicant for a shelf life
prolongation, due to the fast equilibrium of gas reached in the bags and due to a more pronounced product dehydration.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Table grape is a non-climacteric fruit with a relatively low rate
of physiological activity, subjected to serious water loss after harvest, that can result in stem drying, browning and softening of berries. Grape quality depends on numerous factors, such as harvest
period, climatic and soil conditions, cultural practices, degree of
ripening, variety and sanitary conditions (Palacios et al., 1997;
Keller et al., 1998). The lack of defects such as decay, cracked berries, stem browning, insect damage, grey mould infection caused
by Botrytis cinerea and berry rmness are the most important
elements for consumer acceptance (Crisosto et al., 2002;
Carvajal-Milln et al., 2001; Droby and Lichter, 2004).
Gentle handling, careful cluster cleaning, low storage temperature, dipping in ethanol prior to packaging and compounds alternative to SO2, are proposed to reduce the incidence of degradation
(Doymaz and Pala, 2002; Martnez-Romero et al., 2003; Lichter
et al., 2005; Valero et al., 2006; Del Nobile et al., 2008; Deshpande
and Shukla, 2008).
Corresponding author at: Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, Via
Napoli, 25 71100 Foggia, Italy. Tel./fax: +39 881 589 242.
E-mail address: (M.A. Del Nobile).
0260-8774/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Another relevant aspect to be taken into great account for maintaining the quality of horticultural commodities is the choice of the
appropriate packaging system (Del Nobile et al., 2009; ArtsHernndez et al., 2006). Different headspace conditions can be
achieved in the package depending on the interactions between
respiratory activity of the packaged produce and gas transfer
through the polymeric matrix. Water vapour, oxygen and carbon
dioxide are the main low molecular weigh compounds involved
in the mass transport phenomena, since they may move from the
internal or external environment through the polymeric package
wall, resulting in a continuous change of the headspace conditions
(Germain, 1997). Therefore, the selection of packaging lms with
suitable barrier properties is of crucial importance to develop a
gas composition able to maintain quality and assure a long shelf
life to the packaged product (Martnez-Romero et al., 2003). Different commonly available non-perforated and perforated lms, especially based on polyethylene and polypropylene, were used for
storing table grapes in small pouches, to generate passive modied
atmosphere conditions (Arts-Hernndez et al., 2004; Lurie et al.,
2006; Pretel et al., 2006). The enhanced effects of passive modied
atmosphere packaging (passive MAP) in combination with natural
antimicrobial compounds were also assessed in numerous
experimental works carried out on several cultivars of table grape


C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

(Martnez-Romero et al., 2003; Valverde et al., 2005; Valero et al.,

2006; Guilln et al., 2007). In addition, Del Nobile et al. (2008,
2009) compared the effectiveness of various low environmental
impact lms to traditional plastic packages by monitoring the main
quality parameters of minimally processed table grape.
Although the benecial effects of active MAP technique for
keeping quality of fruit and vegetables are well known, the studies
related to the packaging of grapes under active MAP conditions are
lacking (Arts-Hernndez et al., 2007). Low levels of O2 and high
levels of CO2 can reduce the produce respiration rate, with the benet of delaying senescence, reducing metabolic activity, delaying
browning, maintaining colour, lowering microbial proliferation,
and reducing chilling injury symptoms, thus extending the shelf
life (Beaudry, 1999; Jacxsens et al., 2001, 2002; Brecht et al.,
2003; Saltveit, 2003; Valero et al., 2008).
Due to the lack of applications of active MAP to table grape, the
aim of this work was to investigate the effects of oriented polypropylene-based lms, characterized by different barrier properties,
on the quality retention of grape clusters sealed under passive
and active MAP conditions. To this aim, the main quality parameters were monitored during a prolonged storage period and compared to those obtained with unpackaged grape also stored at
refrigerated temperature.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Raw materials
Table grapes ( Vitis vinifera L. cv. Michele Palieri n.) were harvested from a commercial farm in a wine-growing area of the
Apulia region (Bari, Italy). The vineyard had a row spacing of
2.5 m  2.5 m (with 1600 plants/ha) with the Apulia tendone
training system and it was covered with net to protect fruit against
hail. It was managed according to the typical cultivation technique
of the zone. The vineyard was irrigated with local water, by drop
system. Three batches of grape were harvested over the course of
1 month. They were sampled for total soluble solids content (13
Brix); small and decaying berries were removed from the clusters.
Information on climatic conditions (maximum and minimum daily
temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, speed wind and daily irradiation), relative to an eight-day period before each harvest time,
were also recorded and reported in Table 1.
2.2. Sample preparation
Each batch of grape was immediately transported to the laboratory and selected to obtain homogeneous clusters in terms of colour, size, lack of damage, health and greenish rachises. After
selection, grape was washed with tap water to remove residues
and dipped in a solution of ethanol (50%) for 5 min to control
microbial spoilage. After dipping and drying, the fruit (100 g) was
distributed in plastic bags and stored at 5 C. In addition, unpackaged samples were also stored at the same temperature, as the

control. Starting from the rst harvest to the last one, the following
packaging lms were used: oriented polypropylene of 20 lm
(OPP20), oriented polypropylene of 40 lm (OPP40), and oriented
polypropylene of 80 lm (OPP80), all purchased from Icimendue
(Napoli, Italy). Each bag was sealed under atmospheric and modied headspace conditions (passive and active MAP). The active
MAPs were made up of 5:3:92 O2:CO2:N2 (MAP1), 10:3:87
O2:CO2:N2 (MAP2) and 15:3:82 O2:CO2:N2 (MAP3), respectively.
The same approach also adopted in other works to measure the
respiration rate of the product was also used in this study (Del
Nobile, 2006, 2008, 2009). To this aim, an aluminium/polyethylene
lm (thickness 133 lm) kindly provided by Goglio (Daverio, Varese, Italy) was used to package a certain amount of grape belonged
to each harvest.
2.3. Weight loss
The percentage weight loss was determined according to the
following expression:


M 0  Mt

where %ML(t) is the percentage mass loss at time t, M0 is the initial

sample mass and M(t) is the sample mass at time t. The sample
weight was determined by means of a digital precision balance
(0.1 g) (Gibertini Europe, Italy). At each sampling time, three replicates were made.
2.4. Headspace gas composition
Oxygen and carbon dioxide headspace concentration of packaged grape were measured using a gas-metre (PBI Dansensor,
Checkmate 9900, Ringsted, Denmark). The volume taken from
the package headspace for gas analysis was about 10 cm3. To avoid
modications in the headspace gas composition due to gas sampling, each package was used only for a single measurement of
the headspace gas composition. Three replicates were made at
each sampling.
2.5. Microbiological analyses
During storage microbiological analyses were carried out. For
each sample, 25 g of grape (ve berries) were detached from different clusters, immersed in 225 mL of sterile distilled water and shaken for 30 min at 200 rpm on a rotary shaker. The wash was
serially diluted and two aliquots of each dilution were spread over
appropriate media in petri dishes. The media, all from Oxoid
(Milan, Italy), and test conditions were the following: Plate Count
Agar (PCA), modied by adding 0.17 g L1 of cycloheximide (Sigma
Aldrich, Milan, Italy) after autoclaving, incubated at 32 C for 48 h,
for total bacterial count; Sabouraud dextrose agar, supplemented
with chloramphenycol (0.1 g L1) (C. Erba, Milan, Italy), incubated
at 25 C for 48 h, for yeasts; deMan Rogosa Sharpe Agar (MRS),

Table 1
Middle values of climatic conditions recorded 8 days before the harvest time for each batch of grape.




Daily maximum
temperature (C)*

Daily minimum
temperature (C)*

Diurnal mean
relative humidity

Night mean
relative humidity

(km d1)**

Wind direction
(clockwise from











The temperature and relative humidity values were measured at 2 m from ground-line.
The wind velocity and direction values were measured at 10 m from ground-line.


C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

modied by adding 0.17 g L1 of cycloheximide after autoclaving,

incubated at 30 C for 4 days under anaerobiosis, for lactic acid
bacteria; Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA), supplemented with chloramphenycol (0.1 g L1), incubated at 20 C for 710 days, for
moulds. Three replicates were made at each sampling.

know the gas barrier properties of the selected lm in the real

working conditions, the Arrhenius equation was used:

P P0  exp 

The permeability values at 5 C were obtained by extrapolation

using the above equation.

2.6. Product appearance

A trained panel of 10 judges carried out a sensory analysis of table grapes to discriminate between odour, rachis colour, rmness
and overall quality. The intensity of the attributes evaluated was
quantied on a hedonistic scale from 1 to 5, where 1 corresponded
to dislike very much and 5 to like very much, according to a
similar procedure reported in the literature for various food products (Conte et al., 2009; Del Nobile et al., 2009; Gammariello et al.,
2009). Scores below three for any of attributes assessed were considered as an indicator of the end of the acceptable quality.
In order to determine the sensorial acceptability limit of the differently grape batches, the following rst order kinetic type equation was tted to the experimental data:

2.8. Statistical analysis

The parameter values calculated from the tting procedure
were compared by one-way variance analysis (ANOVA). A Duncans multiple range test with the option of homogeneous groups
(P < 0.05), was used to determine signicance between samples.
STATISTICA 7.1 for Windows (Stat-Soft, Inc, Tulsa, OK, USA) was
used for this purpose.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Film transport properties

SA0 expkSAL
SAt SAmin1expkSAL

SAmin SA0 expkSAL
 expk  t
SA0  1expkSAL

where SA(t) is the grape sensorial attribute at time t, k is the kinetic

constant, SA0 is the initial value of the grape sensorial attribute,
SAmin is the grape sensorial attribute threshold limit, SAL is the
sensorial acceptability limit (i.e., the time at which SA(t) is equal
to SAmin), and t is the storage time.
2.7. Permeation tests
The Water Vapour Transmission Rate (WVTR) of the selected
lms was determined by means of a water vapour permeability
analyser (Lyssy, Model 80-5000, Dansensor, Ringsted, Denmark).
Two lm samples with a surface area of 5 cm2 were tested at
23 C and 85% of relative humidity. A nitrogen ow rate of
100 ml/min was used.
The Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) was determined by means
of an Ox-Tran (Mocon, Model 2/20). Two samples of each lm with
a surface area of 5 cm2 were tested at 10, 16 and 23 C and 0% RH at
the upstream and the downstream side of the sample.
The Carbon Dioxide Transmission Rate (CDTR) was determined
by means of a Permatran (Mocon, Model C 4/41). Two samples of
each lm with a surface area of 5 cm2 were tested at 10, 16 and
23 C and 0% RH at the upstream and the downstream side of the
It is worth noting that the gas permeation tests were conducted
at temperatures different to 5 C, that was the storage temperature
of grape, as it is not possible with the actual equipments to make
permeation tests at temperature lower than 10 C. In order to

The measured values of OTR and CDTR for all tested lms are
listed in Table 2. The tests were conducted at 23, 16 and 10 C
and by using Eq. (3) the permeability values at 5 C were obtained
by extrapolation. The values of gas transmission rate were used to
calculate lm permeability. As an example, Fig. 1 shows the lm O2
permeability plotted as a function of the temperature. According to
the Eq. (3) the permeability increased as the temperature of the
permeation test increased. It is also worth noting that the difference in OTR and CDTR between the lms were counterbalanced
by lm thickness, thus allowing similar permeability values. A very

Fig. 1. Film oxygen permeability plotted as a function of the temperature. The

curves are the best t of Eq. (2) to the experimental data.

Table 2
Values of Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) and Carbon Dioxide Transmission Rate (CDTR) of the three selected packaging lms at different

OTR cc/(m2 day)

CDTR cc/(m2 day)

Temperature (C)





2481.74 241.54
1674.61 125.87
1364.13 300.88
1014.72 9.5
6982.53 574.15
4926.5 341.52
3552.0 268.55
2700 176.7

1174.72 9.58
806.35 2.28
611.36 11.42
456.96 0.00
3244.2 100.52
2157.6 73.66
1513.5 43.1
1100.3 33.4

700.9 30.66
468.25 14.73
339.83 11.62
248.64 0.00
1435.3 6.99
1035.1 5.12
777.9 24.56
606.3 0.57


C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

comparable trend was also found for CO2 permeability (data no

As far as the WVTR is concerned, the above-mentioned approach was not adopted due to the fact that the tool devoted to
measure the water vapour transport properties cannot make measures at more than two temperatures, thus not allowing any
extrapolation from data. Thus, the permeation tests to water vapour were carried out at one temperature, to the sole aim to compare water vapour transport properties of selected packaging lms.
WVTR values equal to 0.6, 0.3 and 0.18 g m2 day1 were obtained
for OPP20, OPP40 and OPP80, respectively.
3.2. Mass loss kinetic
Fig. 2 shows the percentage mass loss of the unpackaged fruit of
each harvest, plotted as a function of storage time. A rst order
polynomial equation was plotted to these experimental data. As
expected, the values increased for all samples during time, due to
the dehydration process generally occurring after harvest. The
other striking feature of Fig. 2 is the different slope of the three
studied batches. In particular, the chart underlines that straight
lines with an increasing slope were obtained by starting from the
rst batch to the last one. This experimental evidence could be correlated to the climatic conditions (Table 1) and, in particular, to the
inuence that these can impart to the berry cuticle. In fact, temperature and rainfall are two important factors inuencing changes in
fruit, above all during grape maturation (Serrano-Megas et al.,
2006). The skin membrane of the berry is a protective barrier
against water loss and fungal pathogens and it also contributes
to the control of gaseous exchange (Rosenquist and Morrison,
1989). Transpiration through the cuticle increases with fruit maturity (Blanke and Leyhe, 1987), since the cuticle thickness decreases
between veraison and maturity. Therefore, as also assessed by
other authors, the increase in mass loss rate of grapes harvested
at different times can be related to changes of berry cuticle
(Commnil et al., 1997; Conde et al., 2007).
Fig. 3 shows the grape mass loss plotted as a function of storage
time for samples packaged in the three tested lms under passive
MAP. The effects of lm protection on fruit mass loss are very evident, if these data are compared to those relative to the unpackaged samples (Fig. 2). Even though some differences can be
underlined between lms, the three selected packaging systems
tie in providing a good barrier to water permeation; the percentage
mass loss did not go over 1%. As a fact, water loss is strictly related
to the WVTR of the lms (Conte et al., 2009; Del Nobile et al.,
In order to highlight the effects of modied headspace conditions on fruit weight loss kinetic, a comparison between grape

Fig. 2. Mass loss (%) of unpackaged grape as a function of storage time. The lines are
the best t of a rst order type equation to the experimental data.

Fig. 3. Mass loss (%) of grape samples packaged in the three tested lms sealed in
air, plotted as a function of storage time.

samples sealed in OPP under different initial headspace conditions

was reported in Fig. 4. As can be seen, mass loss kinetic of packaged
grape continuously increased, regardless of the gas composition in
the bag. However, it is worth noting that the loss of water from
grape packaged under active MAPs was higher than that recorded
on grape sealed under atmospheric conditions. This is most probably due to both the evaporation of moisture from package during
the initial vacuumization that was applied prior to injecting the
gas in the package to realize the modied atmosphere, and to the
absence of humidity in the gas mixture injected into the bag (Conte
et al., 2009).
3.3. Headspace gas composition
Fig. 5ac shows the change in O2 concentration in all the bags,
under both passive and active MAPs. It is interesting to note that
differences in trends shown in this gure are related to differences
in barrier properties of lms, according to results also reported in
other works (Conte et al., 2009; Del Nobile et al., 2009). The similar
equilibrium gas concentrations reached in all the bags suggest that
initial headspace concentrations did not affect signicantly gas
evolution in the package. In particular, for grape packaged in
OPP20 the O2 concentration reached an equilibrium value of about
14% under all packaging conditions, owing to the high OTR of this
lm (Fig. 5a). Concerning the grape packaged in OPP40, the O2
headspace concentration accounted for about 7% (Fig. 5b),
whereas, OPP80 lm showed equilibrium values of about 3%
(Fig. 5c), thus reecting the inuence of lm gas barrier properties.

Fig. 4. Mass loss (%) of grape samples packaged in the OPP20, sealed in air and
under MAP, plotted as a function of storage time.


C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

Fig. 5. Oxygen concentration in all grape bags under both ordinary and modied atmospheres.

In Table 3 the values of the maximum oxygen consumption rate

(A1) calculated for each lm were listed. These data were obtained
by using a simple mathematical approach also adopted in previous
works to calculate the respiration rate of minimally processed food
(Del Nobile et al., 2006, 2008, 2009). As can be observed, different
A1 values for the different batches were calculated, thus suggesting
that the different climatic conditions also reected on the respiration rate of grape. In particular, the more stressful harvest conditions (Table 1) for samples packaged in OPP40 and OPP80
increased the values of the maximum oxygen consumption rate.
On the other hand, no statistically signicant differences were recorded between samples packaged in the same lm under the different MAPs, thus suggesting that respiration rate is more affected
by the raw material quality than the initial headspace gas conditions in the package.

Table 3
Values of maximum oxygen consumption rate (A1) calculated for the grape packaged
in the three tested polymeric lms under passive and active modied atmospheres.

OPP 20

OPP 40

OPP 80



Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3
Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3
Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3

2.79 0.13c
1.69 0.215a
1.54 0.12a
2.16 0.12b
4.08 0.15a
3.91 0.16a
3.91 0.15a
3.63 0.1a
6.58 0.16b
7.82 0.30a
7.80 0.20a
8.07 0.15a

kg h


C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

3.4. Microbiological stability

The microbial stability of each batch was determined by monitoring the cell loads of three different spoilage microbial groups:
total bacterial count, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and moulds. The
viable cell load of the above spoilage microorganisms was below
the detection limit (102 cfu/g) for the entire observation period,
due to the dipping in ethanol solution prior to packaging. The efciency of grape pre-treatment with ethanol was widely assessed in
the literature. Data suggest that ethanol has a very pronounced effect on prevention of microbial decay, whether it is applied by dipping treatment or with a pad-generating vapour (Lichter et al.,
2002, 2005; Karabulut et al., 2004; Chervin et al., 2005; Del Nobile
et al., 2008, 2009).

3.5. Sensory analysis

Fig. 6 shows the evolution during storage of the unpackaged
and OPP20 packaged grape overall quality, under both passive
and active MAP. The OPP20 was selected as an example, since similar trends were also recorded with the other tested packaging systems. Curves shown in the gure were obtained by tting Eq. (2) to
the experimental data. As can be observed in the gure, the packaged samples show values of sensorial acceptability above three

Fig. 6. Overall quality evolution of unpackaged and packaged table grapes in

OPP20, under both ordinary and modied atmosphere.

for about 50 days and in general it can be assumed that the overall
quality of grape was fourfold higher than the corresponding unpacked sample. SAL values were calculated from tting for all
grape attributes (i.e., colour, odour, rmness and overall quality)
(Table 4). While SALColour values have to be intended as the time
at which the table grape was not acceptable if the rachis colour
was the sole quality attribute (the same argument can be applied
to odour and rmness), SALOverall Quality is the time at which the
investigated produce was not more satisfactory from a global sensory point of view. Therefore, the SAL values referred to each attribute were used only to assess their inuence on the overall
quality, according to an approach previously used for packaged
grape (Del Nobile et al., 2009). By focusing the attention on SAL
data its possible to infer that colour of rachis was the main factor
inuencing the acceptability of grape, odour and rmness being
less inuenced by the storage. As a fact, detrimental phenomena
occurring during grape storage, such as dehydration and tissue
browning due to polyphenol oxidase activity has been reported
to provoke signicant colour changes in rachis (Carvajal-Milln
et al., 2001). It should be also noted that in this study SALOverall Quality
coincides with produce shelf life, as the microbial load was not
found responsible for any quality limitation.
It is also interesting to observe that different SALOverall Quality values were recorded between the unpackaged grape batches. This
nding seems to be correlated to mass loss results recorded for
the different fruit batches, most probably due to the strict relationship between mass loss and sensorial acceptability. As reported by
Kk and elik (2004), water loss occurring in grape after harvest is
responsible for stem drying and browning, berry shatter and even
wilting and shriveling of berries. For this reason, the ratio between
the SALOverall Quality values of the packaged and the unpackaged
grape was also calculated (Table 4); *SALOverall Quality ratio can be
considered as a measure of the effectiveness of the packaging lm
in increasing grape shelf life. This new index reveals that the OPP80
lm considerably increased the shelf life of the investigated produce, if compared to the other thinner lms. Moreover, the results
indicate that the samples under passive MAP maintained an overall
quality score higher than the same samples stored under active
MAPs. Most probably, this result could be ascribed to both the fast
equilibrium of gas that was reached in the package and to the
evaporation of moisture from produce during sealing. According
to previous results recorded on packaged grape (Del Nobile et al.,
2009) that demonstrated the great dependence of the product
quality on the barrier properties of the packaging system, the outcomes of this work conrmed that the selection of the proper packaging is of crucial importance to create headspace conditions able

Table 4
SAL values of each sensory attribute calculated by tting Eq. (1) to the experimental data.


SALColour (gg)

SALOdour (gg)

SALFirmness (gg)

SALO.Q. (gg)


OPP 20

Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3

15.4 0.66b
53.1 2.6c
44.4 4.1a
43 2.00a
47.7 1.6a


73.3 3.4a
85 13.6a
75.5 2.8a

16.6 0.54c
62.4 2.33b
59.4 3.0a,b
54.5 1.8d
58.7 1.8a


OPP 40

Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3

10.8 1.1b
35 1.3c
22.9 2.4a
22.6 1.5a
23 1.8a

71.6 5.8a,b
62 4.8a,b
57 3.6a
75 13.1b

15.3 0.86c
69 2.4b
53.5 4.1a
50.7 2.5a
67.8 2.6b

10.6 0.5b
41.3 1.0c
32.5 1.7a
33.3 0.9a
33.4 1.5a


OPP 80

Passive MAP
Active MAP1
Active MAP2
Active MAP3

4.5 0.3a
74.3 29.5c
24.3 1.7a,b
32 1.4b
24.4 5.1a,b

14.6 0.85

11 0.57a
54.7 3.6b

6.6 0.3c
71.3 10.1b
47.6 3.0a
64.8 10.5b
48.8 2.5a


SAL/SAL(Unpackaged): SALO.Q. value of packaged samples/SALO.Q. of unpackaged samples.

C. Costa et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 102 (2011) 115121

to guarantee the maintenance of sensory characteristics and to delay degradation process.

4. Conclusion
Passive and active modied atmosphere packaging conditions
were tested on table grape quality. To this aim, three OPP-based
lms differing in thickness, combined to various initial headspace
gas compositions were adapted to package grape clusters. All
samples were stored at refrigerated temperature and during the
storage period the main quality parameters were monitored to
compare the effects of the different packaging systems on quality
retention. Results demonstrated that the selection of proper material is a key to achieve headspace conditions that can control the
respiration rate of the product, the water loss and the rachis colour
retention. Among the tested polymeric matrixes, OPP80 represented the best packaging solution to guarantee a long shelf life
to grape (more than 70 days), with respect to samples in the other
lms, as well as to the unpackaged product (about 1 week). Active
MAPs did not seem to promote any further enhancement in grape
shelf life, the gas concentrations at equilibrium being very similar
to those recorded under passive MAP. Moreover, the conditions
created in the package to modify the initial headspace composition
most probably compromised the mass loss kinetic and consequently, the sensory acceptability of the fresh produce.
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