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  • Author or Editor: Kenneth A. Corey x
  • HortTechnology x
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It frequently takes days or weeks to determine if desired steady state concentrations of gases are reached in modified atmosphere packages of produce when atmospheres are modified by commodity respiration. We present a rapid method for testing packaging films and designs with active modification of atmospheres by vacuum and N2 infusion. Reduction of O2 concentration in produce packages and commodity tissues was completed within minutes by using several cycles of vacuum and N2 infusion treatments. Produce packages were placed in a desiccator and subjected to repeated partial vacuums, each followed by infusion of N2 to one atmosphere. Resulting O2 concentrations in packages (polyethylene + ethyl-vinyl acetate additive) were dependent on the extent of vacuum and the number of evacuations. Within packages of tomatoes, O2 concentrations of 8.3% ± 0.5% and 5.0% ± 1.0% were measured following two evacuations at 460 and 360 mm Hg, respectively. Three evacuations of cabbage and muskmelon packages at 460 mm Hg resulted in O2 concentrations of 5.1% ± 1.4% and 5.0% ± 1.4%, respectively. Maintenance or deviation from actively established atmospheres by the film was determined within hours.

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