Regulation of Metabolic Changes in Shredded Cabbage by Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Andrej Plestenjak1, Tomaž Požrl1, Janez Hribar1, Tatjana Unuk2 and Rajko Vidrih1*

Department of Food Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

2Faculty of Agriculture, University of Maribor, Vrbanska 30, SI-2000, Maribor, Slovenia

Article history:

Received May 3, 2006
Accepted June 26, 2008

Key words:

cabbage, modified atmosphere, packaging, polyethylene, polypropylene, respiration, anaerobic metabolism


The influence of different storage conditions on the storability of packaged shredded cabbage has been studied. The cabbage cultivar Fieldrocket was cut and packaged in glass jars and in polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) film. Several initial atmospheres were established within the packaged cut cabbage: 100 % N2, 5 % O2/95 % N2, 10 % O2/90 % N2, normal atmosphere (NA), 70 % O2/30 % N2 and 100 % O2. Samples were stored at two different temperatures of 0 and 10 °C for 7 days. Variation in CO2 and O2 concentrations was higher at 10 °C compared to 0 °C and the highest at the atmosphere consisting of 70 % O2/30 % N2. A decrease of O2 below 3–5 % and an increase of CO2 above 2–5 % in the packed product resulted in the appearance of anaerobic metabolism. An initial atmosphere consisting of 100 % O2, and a storage temperature of 0 °C resulted in delayed anaerobic metabolism compared to other atmospheric conditions and storage temperature of 10 °C. Rinsing of fresh cut cabbage also resulted in lower accumulation of acetaldehyde and ethanol. A higher variation in CO2 and O2 concentrations, and consequent accumulation of anaerobic metabolites had a negative influence on the sensorial properties of the cut cabbage. The higher permeability of PE film compared to PP and glass enabled faster exchange of CO2 and O2, which resulted in lower accumulation of anaerobic metabolites. However, a higher O2 concentration had a negative influence on the colour of fresh-cut cabbage. The best results were achieved by packing the fresh-cut cabbage in PE film with an initial atmosphere of 100 % O2 and stored at 0 °C.


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