APPLICATION OF MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE PACKAGING TO EXTEND SHELF-LIFE OF MINIMALLY PROCESSED SPINACH
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2007;57(Special issue 4A):13–17
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ABSTRACT
The study assessed the effect of modified atmosphere packaging with varied contents of oxygen and carbon dioxide on sensory and microbiological quality, physicochemical properties and physiological activity of minimally processed spinach. The following variants of modified atmosphere composition were applied: (% O2/ % CO2/ % N2) 10/10/80; 20/5/75; 20/25/55, as well as air atmosphere. On the basis of experiments it was found that modified atmosphere packaging of spinach made it possible to obtain a product maintaining good sensory quality for 6 days. Prolonged storage resulted in unacceptable changes in sensory attributes. The application of atmosphere with the composition of 10% O2/10% CO2/80% N2 had the most advantageous effect on the sensory quality of minimally processed spinach. The level of microbial contamination of fresh spinach was slight (104 CFU/g). Counts of mesophilic and psychrophilic bacteria were higher in the raw material than in minimally processed samples; however, the counts of microorganisms in most samples increased during 12-day storage, irrespective of the modified atmosphere variant applied in packaging. In all spinach samples, irrespective of the initial composition of atmosphere, oxygen content dropped rapidly; in most samples after 6-day storage anaerobic conditions were generated, which indicates too low permeability of the applied packaging material.
ISSN:1230-0322