Conference Contribution Details
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Mansfield D., Sousa-Gallagher M. J., Mahajan P. V.;
40th Annual UCC Food Research Conference
Application of Biobased Packaging Material for Engineering Packaging Design for Fresh Produce
1st April
Poster Presentation
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Without packaging consumers could not live the way they live today. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, promotes, carries information and reduces costs. Biobased packaging is becoming increasingly important in todays environmentally aware global market. Biobased packaging is defined as packaging containing raw materials originating from biological sources such as starch and bioderived monomers. Biodegradability is not only a functional requirement but also an important environmental attribute. The objective of this study was to evaluate the permeability characteristics of biobased film materials to O2 and CO2 and hence to develop a packaging design for fresh produce. The permeabilities of three biobased films (P2G25, PFAM30, RK30) were assessed at temperatures of 5, 10 and 15C and the concentration of O2 and CO2 was measured with a headspace gas analyzer over a 5-hour period. From the increase/decrease of the respective gases the specific mass transfer coefficients for the films for O2 and CO2 was calculated. Packaging design for sliced mushroom was performed for 4 days at 10C using a full factorial experimental design (32) considering three types of biobased films and three levels of perforations. The number of perforations and type of film had a significant impact on the equilibrium concentration of O2 whereas only perforations have a significant impact on the concentration of CO2. The three films tested would not be able to provide the optimal conditions (3-5% O2 and 5-10% CO2 (v/v)) for sliced mushrooms unless a CO2 absorber would be used in conjunction with P2G25 (2 perforations), PFAM30 (2 perforations) or RK30 with no perforations.