Technological watch

Influence of different bio?based and conventional packaging trays on the quality loss of fresh cherry tomatoes during distribution and storage

Considering all the parameters investigated, tomatoes stored in groundwood pulp and sugar cane showed only minor quality changes during storage. These materials preserve a better quality of the stored tomatoes compared with the reference materials, corrugated cardboard and rPET. PLA and grass paper, on the other hand, caused strong and premature quality changes on the stored tomatoes; thus, these materials are not recommended for tomato packaging.The quality loss and shelf life of cherry tomatoes stored in different types of commercially available bio?based packaging trays were analysed and compared with the reference materials, corrugated cardboard and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). During storage under conditions reflecting points in a regional German supply chain, typical quality parameters were investigated. Surface bacterial counts of the packaging materials were investigated before and after storage, and material parameters were determined for selected packaging.The results showed that groundwood pulp and sugar cane trays showed higher preserving characteristics of tomatoes in comparison with the references. During storage, weight loss was highest for tomatoes stored in polylactic acid (PLA). The highest increase in microbial count with 3.5 log10 units was observed after 20?days for tomatoes stored in packaging trays of bamboo. The lowest increase with 0.5 log10 units and 0.6 log10 units was recorded for tomatoes stored in packaging trays of groundwood pulp and grass paper, respectively. The results of the packaging parameters show the highest (411.0 N) and lowest (79.0 N) tensile strength for cellulose and groundwood pulp. The water absorption capacity ranged from

Publication date: 27/03/2023

Packaging Technology and Science


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.