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J Dairy Sci. 2001 Jun;84(6):1341-7.

Effectiveness of poly(ethylene terephthalate) and high-density polyethylene in protection of milk flavor.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 24061, USA.


The development of certain off-flavors in whole milk (3.25% milk fat) as related to packaging material [glass, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), amber poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PETE), clear PETE, and clear PETE-UV] were evaluated after exposure to fluorescent light (1100 to 1300 lx) for 18 d at 4 degrees C. Control samples packaged and stored under identical conditions were wrapped in foil to prevent light exposure. Selected flavor compounds in milk were measured analytically on d 0, 7, 14, and 18 of storage, while intensities of "oxidation," "acetaldehyde," and "lacks freshness" off-flavors were determined by sensory analysis at the same intervals. In light-exposed samples, oxidation off-flavor was significantly lower when packaged in amber PETE versus other containers. Milk packaged in HDPE containers showed a significantly higher level of oxidation off-flavor than milk packaged in PETE-UV containers but not higher than clear PETE or glass containers. No significant difference in acetaldehyde off-flavor was found between package material treatments (exposed or protected). Acetaldehyde concentration never exceeded flavor threshold levels, regardless of packaging material. Amber and PETE-UV materials proved to be a competitive packaging choice for milk in preserving fresh milk flavor.

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