Biopolymer Coatings as Alternative to Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Shelf Life Extension of Minimally Processed Apples
The effect of caseinate/chitosan blend on the shelf life of minimally processed apples was studied. In the first phase of the work, the effect of the biopolymer coating on the respiration rate of the minimally processed apples was studied as function of gas composition (5%, 10%, 21% of O2 with N2 as balance at 5 &deg;C) and temperature (5 &deg;C, 10 &deg;C at 5% of O2 with N2 as balance). In the second phase, the shelf life of the packed product was studied during storage at 5 &deg;C. The gas composition (O2%-CO2%) in the package headspace, relative humidity, pH, hardness, color and antioxidant capacity of the product were monitored after 0, 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14 days. The coating effectively reduced respiration rate of the product when oxygen was over 10%. In the presence of the coating, the reduction of oxygen did not affect the respiration rate. At 5% of O2, the respiration rate decreased by 50% by changing the temperature from 10 &deg;C to 5 &deg;C. Shelf life study showed that the chitosan&mdash;caseinate coating was able to preserve the mechanical properties and the antioxidant capacity of the product during storage by increasing the shelf life by 7 days to 11 days at 5 &deg;C.