, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 133-158

Applications of Plastic Films for Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fruits and Vegetables: A Review

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Abstract

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh produce relies on the modification of atmosphere inside the package achieved by the natural interplay between two processes: the respiration rates of the commodity and the permeability of the packaging films. MAP has been a proven technology to meet the consumer’s demand for more natural and fresh foods, which is increasing day by day. Because of its dynamic phenomenon, respiration and permeation take place simultaneously, and it is necessary to design the MAP system and select the matching films to achieve desired atmosphere early and maintain as long as possible. To meet the desired film characteristics for MAP, the different plastic films are either laminated or coextruded. In this modern world, the packaging films of required gas transmission properties are made available through advanced technology. Although the MAP industry has an increasing choice of packaging films, most packs are still constructed from four basic sustainable polymers: polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyproylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) for packaging of fresh produce. Polystyrene has also been used but polyvinylidene, polyester and nylon have such low gas permeabilities that they would be suitable only for commodities with very low respiration rates.