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1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is used commercially to extend the shelf life of strawberries. The attainment of desired gas (O2, CO2) concentrations inside MAP relies on the product respiration and the mass transfer through packaging and will affect the quality. The objective of this work is to build a mathematical model for strawberries to assess the effect of the uncertainties on headspace gas concentration and quality: 1) cold chain related temperature and relative humidity variations and 2) variability associated to product respiration and quality based on literature. Weight loss was more influenced by the cold chain storage conditions (temperature and RH) whereas spoilage had similar influence of cold chain conditions and product parameters. Waste generated in the cold chain was estimated from industrial standard weight loss and spoilage thresholds. A sensitivity analysis of the stochastic MAP model showed the influence of input parameters on the quality pointing to interventions associated to a reduction of the respiration rate (e.g. modification of packaging) and reduction of water transfer (e.g. coating) may prove more successful than other interventions to which the waste generation of this product is not so sensitive to. As a conclusion this work presents a toolbox to interpret cold chain data: 1) develop mathematical models to predict fate of quality 2) simulate cold chain conditions allowing for uncertainty 3) estimate the waste generation kinetics based in quality criteria and thresholds 4) perform a sensitivity analysis to identify most sensitive technological parameters 5) identify interventions that will affect those technological parameters.
Joshi, K., Tiwari, B., Cullen, P.J. & Frias, J. (2019). Predicting quality attributes of strawberry packed under modified atmosphere throughout the cold chain. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 21(September), 100354. doi:10.1016/j.fpsl.2019.100354