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Lucera A.,Ist. per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodo | Costa C.,Ist. per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodo | Mastromatteo M.,University of Foggia | Conte A.,Ist. per la Ricerca e le Applicazioni Biotecnologiche per la Sicurezza e la Valorizzazione dei Prodo | And 3 more authors.
Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies | Year: 2010

In this work different packaging strategies aimed to prolong the shelf life of minimally processed zucchini are presented. In particular, two different cultivars (Sofia and Diamante) were tested. The sliced zucchini were packaged in oriented polypropylene-based (OPP) bag and into a bio-polymeric film (COEX) under passive and active MAP. The investigated produce was stored at 5 °C for approximately 9 days. Headspace gas concentrations, pH, mass loss, sensory quality and viable cell load of main spoilage microorganisms were monitored for the entire observation period. In order to determine the respiration activity, O2 and CO2 concentrations were monitored not only in OPP and COEX packages but also in the headspace of an aluminum-based package. Results suggested that for Diamante cultivar OPP film under active and passive MAP showed slightly better performances in prolonging the shelf life, compared to COEX film; instead, for Sofia cultivar better results were obtained with OPP film only under active MAP conditions. Industrial relevance: This paper suggests an effective packaging solution to delay the quality decay kinetic of two cultivars of fresh-cut zucchini. Due to changes in consumer attitudes, the proposed mild strategies to prolong the shelf life of ready-to-cook products could really gain widespread acceptance by industry of the minimally processed food sector. Due to great attention to the environmental pollution a biodegradable packaging system was also studied and compared to the common polypropylene-based film, even though the characteristics of this specific produce could not suggest the substitution with traditionally used plastic materials with eco-friendly polymers. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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