Value Addition of Fruits and Vegetables Through Packaging
Packing of fruits and vegetables is an important step in the long and complicated journey from grower to consumer. Bags, crates, baskets, cartons, bulk bins, and palletized containers are convenient containers for handling, transporting, and marketing of fresh produce. To optimize the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, regardless of the packaging system, maintenance of appropriate temperatures throughout distribution and storage is another key factor as every 10 °C increase in temperature reduces shelf life by two to three times. The active packaging allowing a controlled interaction between the produce, package, and internal gaseous environment, thus, extends shelf life, improves fruit and vegetable safety or provides superior sensory quality, and inhibits pathogens. Fresh or minimally processed fruits and vegetables respire at rates specific to the fruit or vegetable species, variety, growth, harvest and storage history, and conditions of the surrounding environment. Various films provide breathable package that can keep gas levels at an optimum, which significantly improves shelf life. The labels on packaging materials assist buyers to know who, what, and how much as well as quality assurance code that help to find the source of the problem. More than 1,500 different types of packages are used for different produce, and the number continues to increase as the industry introduces new packaging materials and concepts.
KeywordsShelf Life Fresh Produce Sweet Corn Modify Atmosphere Packaging Packing Method
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