An Innovative Ethylene Scrubber Made of Potassium Permanganate Loaded on a Protonated Montmorillonite: a Case Study on Blueberries
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The effects of a KMnO4-based innovative C2H4 scrubber (using a protonated montmorillonite (PMMT)), compared with a commercial Bi-On® R12 scrubber, were evaluated on the main quality attributes of “Duke” blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) fruit during storage at 2 and 10 °C up to 46 days. Samples were stored under modified atmosphere packaging (with or without scrubbers) or air conditions (vented clams). Despite using a PMMT sachet containing 6-fold lower scrubber quantity compared with the commercial one (based on the C2H4 uptake capacity of both materials), the in-package C2H4 concentrations of samples were low (< 10.1 nmol L−1), regardless of the used scrubber. A mild CO2 adsorption was observed in the commercial scrubber due to the intrinsic properties of its mineral support material (zeolite). The storage temperature played a key role in the preservation of the blueberry quality (mainly determined by the fungal incidence) during storage. In that sense, decay incidence, weight loss, firmness loss, titratable acidity, and maturity index changes of blueberries were better controlled by the modified atmosphere packaging at 2 °C compared with 10 °C. The developed innovative C2H4 scrubber, in conjunction with modified atmosphere packaging, may be then considered as a helpful tool for blueberry shelf-life extension—additional 25 days at 2 °C and 14 days at 10 °C—by reducing fungi-caused decay incidence, while preserving the rest of fruit quality parameters, with a high cost-effectiveness.
KeywordsBush berries Decay Weight loss Clay adsorption Protonated clay Quality
Authors are greatly thankful to Prof. Dr. Jean Claude Pech for his valuable counselling. We would also like to thank Perla E. Padilla-Hernández for her valuable collaboration during the experiment. The kindly supply of blueberry fruit from Arándanos La Peña (Asturias, Spain) and commercial Bi-On® R12 sachets from Bioconservacion S.A (Barcelona, Spain) is also appreciated.
Marianela Hazel Álvarez-Hernández is supported by CONACYT (National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico) (mobility grant no. 291212).
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