Division of Horticulture and Systems Engineering, Kangwon National University1
Agricultural and Life Science Research Institute, Kangwon National University2
This study investigated the effect of UV-C irradiation and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) treatment on quality of asparagus spears (Asparagus officinalis) during storage. Asparagus spears were irradiated with 15 or 20 kJ/m2 of UV-C irradiation. Untreated spears served as control. Treated and untreated spears were packaged using oxygen transmission rate (OTR) films (10,000 cc/m2·day·atm) for the MAP and with perforated film for conventional storage. Experimental and control spears were stored for 30 days at 4°C and 85% relative humidity. The weight loss rate was less than 0.4% in all MAP-treated samples, whereas it was more than 4.5% in the conventional storage stored samples. Carbon dioxide content stayed at 5.0-10.0%, and oxygen content remained higher than 10.0% in all MAP samples. All treatments satisfied the recommended range of controlled atmosphere (CA) and modified atmosphere (MA) conditions of asparagus spears. Ethylene content stayed consistently at 2.0-4.0 µL/L during storage. The atmospheric composition (i.e. carbon dioxide, oxygen, and ethylene contents) in all MAP samples was not significantly different according to UV-C irradiation treatment. The off-odor of samples irradiated with 15 kJ/m2 UV-C was lower regardless of the storage method. Soluble solid contents did not differ significantly with the MAP treatment. The soluble solid content was the highest in the samples irradiated with 15 kJ/m2 UV-C and stored conventional storage. The hue angle value was the highest at 15 kJ/m2 UV-C irradiation and MAP storage, indicating inhibition of the yellowing effect of the UV-C irradiation. Visual quality of samples subjected to 15 kJ/m2 UV-C irradiation and MAP treatment was the best among all samples. These samples retained their marketability for up to 30 days. In conclusion, 15 kJ/m2 UV-C irradiation combined with MAP treatment is appropriate to maintain visual quality and soluble solid contents and to inhibit the development of off-odor and yellowing of asparagus spears during storage.
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