Impacts of Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Controlled Atmospheres on Aroma, Flavor, and Quality of Horticultural Commodities

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  • 1 USDA, ARS Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801.
  • 2 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414.

The commercial use of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology provides a means to slow the processes of ripening and senescence during storage, transport, and marketing of many fresh fruit and vegetables. The benefits of MAP and controlled atmosphere (CA) technologies for extending postharvest life of many fruit and vegetables have been recognized for many years. Although both technologies have been and continue to be extensively researched, more examples of the impacts of CA on produce quality are available in the literature and many of these reports were used in development of this review. Storage using MAP, similar to the use of CA storage, impacts most aspects of produce quality although the extent to which each quality attribute responds to CA or modified atmosphere (MA) conditions varies among commodities. Impacts of MAP and CA on flavor and aroma are dependent on the composition of the storage atmosphere, avoidance of anaerobic conditions, storage duration, and the use of fresh-cut technologies before storage.

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