Modified-atmosphere Packaging of Blueberry Fruit: Modeling Respiration and Package Oxygen Partial Pressures as a Function of Temperature

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Arthur C. CameronDepartment of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

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Randolph M. BeaudryDepartment of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

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Nigel H. BanksDepartment of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

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Mark V. YelanichDepartment of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

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A mathematical model was developed to characterize the interaction of fruit O2 uptake, steady-state O2 partial pressures in modified-atmosphere (MA) packages ([O2]pkg), and film permeability to O2 (Po2) from previously published data for highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. `Bluecrop') fruit held between 0 and 25C. O2 uptake in nonlimiting O2 (Ro2max,T) and the [O2]pkg at which O2 uptake was half-maximal (K½T) were both exponentially related to temperature. The activation energy of 02 uptake was less at lower [O2]pkg and temperature. The predicted activation energy for permeation of O2 through the film (\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{E}_{\mathrm{a}}^{\mathrm{P_{\mathrm{o}_{2}}}}\) \end{document} kJ·mol-1) required to maintain close-to-optimum [O2]pkg across the range of temperatures between 0 and 25C was ≈ 60 kJ·mol-1. Packages in which diffusion was mediated through polypropylene or polyethylene would have values \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{E}_{\mathrm{a}}^{\mathrm{P_{\mathrm{o}_{2}}}}\) \end{document} of ≈ 50 and 40 kJ·mol-1, respectively, and would have correspondingly greater tendencies for [O2]pkg to decrease to excessively low levels with an increase in temperature. Packages that depend on pores for permeation would have an \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{E}_{\mathrm{a}}^{\mathrm{P_{\mathrm{o}_{2}}}}\) \end{document} of <5 kJ·mol-1. Our procedure predicted that, if allowed to attain steady-state conditions, packages with pores and optimized to 2 kPa O2 at 0C would become anaerobic with as little as a 5C increase in temperature. The results are discussed in relation to the risk of temperature abuse during handling and marketing of MA packaged fruit and strategies to avoid induction of anaerobiosis.

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