Article

Active cardboard box with smart internal lining based on encapsulated essential oils for enhancing the shelf life of fresh mandarins

Journal ar
Foods
  • Volumen: 9
  • Número: 5
  • Fecha: 01 May 2020
  • ISSN: 23048158
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.3390/foods9050590
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: MDPI Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Instituterasetti@mdpi.com
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).Mandarins are usually sold in bulk and refrigerated in open cardboard boxes with a relatively short shelf-life (12¿15 days) due to physiological and pathological disorders (rot, dehydration, internal breakdown, etc.). The influence of a controlled release of essential oils (EOs) from an active packaging (including ß-cyclodextrin-EOs inclusion complex) was studied on the mandarin quality stability, comparing different sized cardboard trays and boxes, either non-active or active, at the pilot plant scale (experiment 1; commercialization simulation at room temperature after a previous simulation of short transportation/storage of 5 days at 8 °C). Then, the selected package was further validated at the industrial scale (experiment 2; cold storage at 8 °C up to 21 days). Among package types, the active large box (¿10 kg fruit per box) better maintained the mandarin quality, extending the shelf life from two weeks (non-active large box) to three weeks at room temperature. Particularly, the active large box highly controlled microbial growth (up to two log units), reduced weight losses (by 1.6-fold), reduced acidity, and increased soluble solids (highly appreciated in sensory analyses), while it minimized colour and controlled firmness changes after three weeks. Such trends were also observed during the validation experiment, extending the shelf life (based on sensory quality) from 14 to at least 21 days. In conclusion, the mandarin¿s shelf life with this active cardboard box format was extended more than one week at 8 °C.

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