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Biodegradable Polymer Packaging System for ‘Benitaka’ Table Grapes during Cold Storage

A biodegradable polymer packaging system for ‘Benitaka’ table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) was developed to inhibit the development of gray mold during refrigerated storage. The system consisted of packages and sachets containing Na2S2O5 to release sulfur dioxide (SO2), both produced with biodegradable films of starch, glycerol, and poly (adipate co-butylene terephthalate) (PBAT) produced via blown extrusion. The films were characterized in terms of thickness, density, mass loss in water, water vapor permeability, sorption isotherms, and mechanical properties. The table grapes were packed with biodegradable plastic bags containing SO2-releasing sachets inside. The experimental design was completely randomized, with four repetitions and five treatments: (a) control, without sachet containing Na2S2O5 and SiO2; (b) 2 g of Na2S2O5 + 2 g of SiO2; (c) 4 g of Na2S2O5 + 1 g of SiO2; (d) 4 g of Na2S2O5 + 2 g of SiO2; and (e) 4 g of Na2S2O5 + 4 g of SiO2. The bunches were stored in a refrigerated chamber at 1 ± 1 °C and relative humidity above 90%. The treatments were evaluated 30 and 45 days after the beginning of refrigerated storage and 3 days at room temperature. The grapes were evaluated based on the incidence of gray mold, mass loss, stem browning, shattered berries, and berry bleaching. The data were subjected to the analysis of variance, and the means were compared using Tukey’s test at 5%. The biodegradable films had good processability during the production via blown extrusion, with good physical properties to be used in the packaging of grapes and the production of SO2-releasing sachets. The biodegradable polymer packaging system (biodegradable plastic bags + SO2-releasing sachets) inhibited the development of gray mold on ‘Benitaka’ table grapes for 45 days at 1 °C, preserving their quality, with low mass loss, few shattered berries, and rachis freshness.

Publication date: 19/01/2024

Author: Ricardo Josue Silva

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym16020274

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.