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Modified atmosphere in a water vapour-permeable film maintains snap bean quality after harvest

Elazar Fallik, Daniel Chalupowicz, Zion Aharon, Nehemia Aharoni

Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce
ARO-The Volcani Center
P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel

Storage of snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) pods in a new microperforated high water-permeable plastic film with medium microperforation (Xtend® - XF-MµP) produced a desired modified atmosphere of 6-8/12-14 kPa CO2/O2 during 7 days storage at 5°C and 12/7 kPa CO2/O2 during 2 days at 20°C, and a good relative humidity inside the film bag, thus maintained pod quality as measured by several quality parameters and lack of defects and decay. A low microperforated XF film (XF-LµP) maintained quality similarly to the XF-MµP film with regard to freshness, defects, and decay, but the pods had off-flavor owing to high levels of CO2 in the bags. On the other hand XF with high microperforation (XF-HµP) produced low levels of CO2 and relatively high O2, which did not benefit overall quality of pods. Polythene (PE) film with a high level of microperforation (PE-HµP) or macroperforation (PE-MP), were less successful in maintaining quality, owing to undesired O2 and CO2 levels and very high relative humidity inside the film bags, which enhanced defects and rot development. Adding tissue paper into PE-HµP film to absorb water excess resulted in defect and rot reduction. It was also found that rinsing the pods in cold water before packaging led to pods with higher freshness, less decay, and better overall quality after storage and shelf life simulation. The results indicate that two major factors affecting snap bean quality are: a relatively low humidity (~90%) inside the bag which reduces defect development such as russeting and decay incidence, and an appropriate modified atmosphere which inhibits both ripening and senescence processes.

Fallik E., Chalupowicz D., Aharon Z., Aharoni N., 2002. Modified atmosphere in a water vapour-permeable film maintains snap bean quality after harvest. Folia Horticulturae 14/2: 85-94.