Modified atmosphere packaging of pomegranate fruit and arils : a review
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Ongoing global drive for a healthier diet has led to a rise in demand for convenient and fresh food produce, with high nutritional value and free of additives. Minimally fresh processed fruits and vegetables, satisfies the consumers’ perception of a high nutritional quality and convenience produce. Minimally processed fruit and vegetables are susceptible to increased deterioration in quality and microbial infestation due to increase in endogenous enzymatic processes and respiration rate. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology offers the possibility to retard produce respiration rate and extend the shelf life of fresh produce. However, it is important to correlate the permeability properties of the packing films with the respiration rate of the produce, in order to avoid anaerobic conditions which could lead into fermentation of produce and accumulation of ethanol. Hence, mathematical prediction modelling is now widely applied in the design and development of effective MAP technology in both whole and minimally processed fresh produce. With increasing global interest in postharvest handling and nutrition value of pomegranate, MAP of minimally processed pomegranate arils offers additional innovative tool for optimal use and value addition, including the utilization of lowergrade fruit with superficial peel defects such as; cracks, splits, and sunburnt. This review paper highlights the current status and applications of modified atmosphere packaging in whole fruit and minimally processed pomegranate arils and identifies future prospects.