Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for

  • Author or Editor: Martin G. Scanlon x
Clear All Modify Search

The first goal of this study was to determine the packaging film O2 permeability required to maintain a steady-state O2 concentration of 3% in modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) of minimally processed romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The second goal of the study was to determine the extent to which MAP could preserve lettuce quality and consequently extend product shelf life. Oxygen consumption rates of commercially prepared lettuce samples were determined in a closed system for each of three atmospheres (3% O2 combined with either 6%, 10%, or 14% CO2). Enzymatic, quadratic, and linear mathematical models were compared to determine which best described the respiratory data. The linear model was the most suitable and was used to predict the O2 consumption rate of the minimally processed romaine lettuce under the desired package headspace gas concentrations. The predicted O2 consumption rate was used to calculate the necessary O2 permeability for the packaging film. Packages (21.6 × 25.4 cm) were constructed from a polypropylene-polyethylene-laminate film with the appropriate O2 permeability. Packaged samples were stored under three modified atmospheres (MAs) (3% O2 combined with either 6%, 10%, or 14% CO2) for 20 days, and headspace gas concentrations, lettuce appearance, and color were evaluated every other day. Growth of pectinolytic and lactic acid bacteria was also studied. The O2 consumption rate of the lettuce decreased with increasing CO2 levels. The O2 levels in the MA packages equilibrated at 7% to 11%. Compared to a control atmosphere of air, MAP delayed the development of tissue discoloration. Preliminary results indicated no effect of MAP on microbial growth. Of the three CO2 levels, 10% was slightly more effective than 6% and 14%. Critical choice of packaging permeabilities combined with MAP maintained the quality of minimally processed romaine lettuce and thereby increased shelf life by about 50%.

Free access