Mathematical Modelling of Modified Atmosphere Package: An Engineering Approach to Design Packaging Systems for Fresh-Cut Produce

  • Elena Torrieri
  • Pramod V. Mahajan
  • Silvana Cavella
  • Maria De Sousa Gallagher
  • Fernanda A.R. Oliveira
  • Paolo Masi
Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 25)


Consumer demand for freshness and for convenience food has led to the evolution and increased production of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Moreover, this may represent a way to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and therefore be a benefit for the crops-sector economy. Because the increase in convenience for the consumer has a detrimental effect on product quality, attention must be focused on extending shelf-life while maintaining quality. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a packaging technology that, by making qualitative or quantitative changes to the atmosphere composition around the product, can improve product preservation. However, MAP must be carefully designed, as a poorly designed system may be ineffective or even shorten product shelf-life. Thus, whereas in the past a trial-and-error approach to packaging of food was predominant, nowadays the need has emerged for an engineering approach to properly design a package to improve product shelf-life. Therefore, to ensure an appropriate gas composition during the product’s shelf-life, a model should take into account all the variables that play a critical role, such as product respiration and its mass; packaging material and its geometry; and environmental conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, and gas composition.

In this chapter, a procedure to design a package for fresh-cut produce is described. An engineering approach is used to develop a mathematical model with the experimental data obtained for product respiration and package permeability and to solve the mass balance equations using computer software. A case study on fresh-cut apples is reported to validate the model.


Packaging Material Respiration Quotient Modify Atmosphere Packaging Litchi Fruit Modify Atmosphere Package 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Torrieri
    • 1
  • Pramod V. Mahajan
  • Silvana Cavella
    • 1
  • Maria De Sousa Gallagher
  • Fernanda A.R. Oliveira
  • Paolo Masi
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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