Perforation-mediated modified atmosphere packaging of sweetcorn

Gamal S. Riad, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Khe V. Chau


Sweetcorn can benefit from perforation-mediated modified atmosphere packaging (PM-MAP) in which the cobs are stored in impermeable containers with a diffusion window because the low [sharp s] value (ratio between CO[sub2] and O[sub2] mass transfer coefficients = 0.81) combined with the sweetcorn respiration allows beneficial low-O[sub2]/high-CO[sub2] atmospheres to develop that are unachievable using polymeric film packages. The diffusion window may be one or more perforations, which restrict the gas movement in and out of the container. In this experiment, brass tubes with different lengths and diameters were fitted in glass containers to establish 15, 20 or 25% CO[sub2] atmospheres at 1 and 10C. The desired gas compositions were obtained successfully at 1C and were less than expected at 10C by 3 to 5%. It took 5 to 8 days to reach the equilibrium atmospheres at 1C and [less than or equal to] 2 days at 10C. After 10 days of storage, the sweetcorn visual quality was very good even at the highest CO[sub2] level (25%). There was no significant ethanol or acetaldehyde production in the headspace gas in any treatment. Sugar measurements indicated that sweetcorn benefited from the high CO[sub2] (up to 25%) and low O[sub2] (as little as 0.5%).


modified atmosphere packaging; map; decay; respiratory quotient; rq; sugar; ethanol; acetaldehyde; temperature; zea mays

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283