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Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2013;78(2):55-63.

Quality changes of 'Sanguinello' oranges wrapped with different plastic films under simulated marketing conditions.


Chemical and eating quality of citrus fruit changes slowly after harvest, and quality alteration is mainly due to shrinkage, loss of firmness, excessive weight loss and decay rather than a reduction of nutritional value and taste features. Film wrapping may be a suitable means to reduce transpiration and preserve market quality provided film permeability to gases does not lead to: 1) a reduction of in-package O2 partial pressure at a point that would induce anaerobic respiration; 2) an increase of CO2 concentration to toxic levels. This experiment was carried out to study quality changes of 'Sanguinello' oranges treated or not treated with 500 mg/L imazalil (IMZ) and wrapped with continuous, macro- or micro-perforated polyolefinic films. Wrapped and no-wrapped fruit were stored at 20 degrees C and 60% RH for 20 or 30 days. In-package gas composition of the macro-perforated film showed no significant difference compared to air composition, while in-package partial pressure of CO2 and O2 ranged between 4 (continuous film) and 9.8 kPa (micro-perforated films), and 14.8 (continuous film) and 5 kPa (micro-perforated films), respectively. After 30 days of storage weight loss in fruit wrapped with the macro-perforated film was (4.3%) slightly lowerthan un-packed fruit (5%), while in all other packages weight loss never exceeded 0.7%.Quality changes were quite stable over storage in all treatments, although slight but significantly lower levels of total soluble solids and ascorbic acid were detected in micro-perforated films with the lowest degree of perforation. However, the sensory analysis denoted a remarkable decrease of firmness in un-wrapped or wrapped fruit with macro-perforated film, while a moderate build-up of off-flavour, which reduced the eating quality, developed in micro-perforated films. Decay ranged between 6 and 12% in not treated fruit, with the lowest incidence detected in un-wrapped fruit, whereas differences among the different films were not significant. No decay was detected in fruit treated with IMZ. 'Sanguinello' oranges can be stored under retail conditions for a month by the only means of film wrapping without important changes in chemical, eating and marketing quality provided fruit are treated with an effective fungicide to prevent decay and that in-package gas composition is not markedly changed with respect to air.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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