Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
O’Sullivan, T.J., Mahajan, P. V., and *Sousa-Gallagher, M.J.
41st Annual UCC Food Research Conference
Impact of Engineering Package Design on Quality and Shelf-life of Strawberries
Cork, Ireland
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a technology based on the interplay between fresh produce respiration rate and packaging permeability. Packaging gas composition for strawberries can be changed through the use of micro-perforations, in order to match the fresh produce optimal conditions (i.e., 15-20% CO2 and 5-10% O2), causing a decrease in respiration rate, maintaining quality and therefore extending strawberries shelf-life. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of engineering packaging design (i.e. film perforations) and temperature of supply chain on biodegradable (NVS, PLA) and traditional (OPP) film packaging through assessment of gas composition and quality parameters throughout shelf-life. Packaging of fresh strawberries using different films and number of perforations (2, 3, 5) for (NVS and OPP) or (1, 2, 3) for PLA, were stored at 5, 10 & 15°C  for 12, 8 & 4 days respectively. PACK-in-MAPŇ web-based ( software was used to simulate the number of micro-perforations at each temperature considering among other factors strawberries respiration rate and the packaging permeability. Quality parameters (fungal growth, weight loss, firmness & colour) and overall sensory were analysed throughout storage and compared to existing commercial packaging system. The least percentage of strawberry change was found at lower temperature (5°C) for fungal growth (9.09, 37.50, 15 & 100%), weight loss (7.16, 10.06, 0.42 & 16.21%), firmness loss (43.58, 37.18, 40.38 & 55.76%) and colour (+3.03, -5.69, -6.30, & -14.09%) for NVS, PLA, OPP and commercial package, respectively after 12 days. Temperature control during supply chain and optimal MAP design helped maintain quality and extend the shelf-life of strawberries to 8 days, whereas commercial package with macro-perforations had a shelf-life of 4 days. Optimal design of MAP will provide companies competitive advantage for providing higher quality products and allow businesses to expand to mainland Europe.