Technological watch

Preparation of Methylcellulose Film-Based CO2 Indicator for Monitoring the Ripeness Quality of Mango Fruit cv. Nam Dok Mai Si Thong

Day-to-day advancements in food science and technology have increased. Indicators, especially biopolymer-incorporated organic dye indicators, are useful for monitoring the ripeness quality of agricultural fruit products. In this investigation, methylcellulose films—containing pH dye-based indicators that change color depending on the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels—were prepared. The level of CO2 on the inside of the packaging container indicated the ripeness of the fruit. Changes in the CO2 level, caused by the ripeness metabolite during storage, altered the pH. The methylcellulose-based film contained pH-sensitive dyes (bromothymol blue and methyl red), which responded (through visible color change) to CO2 levels produced by ripeness metabolites formed during respiration. The indicator solution and indicator label were monitored for their response to CO2. In addition, a kinetic approach was used to correlate the response of the indicator label to the changes in mango ripeness. Color changes (the total color difference of a mixed pH dye-based indicator), correlated well with the CO2 levels in mango fruit. In the ‘Nam Dok Mai Si Thong’ mango fruit model, the indicator response correlated with respiration patterns in real-time monitoring of ripeness at various constant temperatures. Based on the storage test, the indicator labels exhibited color changes from blue, through light bright green, to yellow, when exposed to CO2 during storage time, confirming the minimal, half-ripe, and fully-ripe levels of mango fruit, respectively. The firmness and titratable acidity (TA) of the fruit decreased from 44.54 to 2.01 N, and 2.84 to 0.21%, respectively, whereas the soluble solid contents (SSC) increased from 10.70 to 18.26% when the fruit ripened. Overall, we believe that the application of prepared methylcellulose-based CO2 indicator film can be helpful in monitoring the ripeness stage, or quality of, mango and other fruits, with the naked eye, in the food packaging system.

Publication date: 01/09/2022

Author: Duangjai Noiwan

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14173616

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.