• Fruits;
  • microorganisms;
  • modified atmosphere packaging;
  • postharvest


This study evaluated the effects of passive modified atmosphere packaging design parameters as a function of the amount of product (g), temperature (°C) and time (days) on two pomegranate cultivars. Arils (75, 100 and 125 g) were packed in trays, heat sealed with polylid film and stored at 5, 10 and 15 °C for 14 days, and analysed for physicochemical parameters viz headspace gas composition, weight loss, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, anthocyanin, aerobic-mesophilic bacterial and fungal load (log CFU g−1). At the highest temperature and weight, O2 concentration continuously decreased below the critical limit (2%) after 4 days, while at 5 °C, this lower limit was not reached. Shelf life of arils was limited to 10, 7 and 3 days by fungal growth ≥2 log CFU g−1 at 5, 10 and 15 °C, respectively. Using unsteady-state equation, a good agreement was found between simulated and experimental gas composition data.