The use of packaging techniques to maintain freshness in fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: a review


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Browning and other discolourations, softening, surface dehydration, water loss, translucency, off-flavour and off-odour development, as well as microbial spoilage are some of the most frequent causes of quality loss in fresh-cut products. Nowadays, the use of innovative modified atmospheres and edible coatings stands out among other techniques in the struggle for maintaining freshness and safety of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. A few studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these techniques when applied to different fresh-cut commodities. However, treatment and storage conditions for fresh-cut fruits are still being largely explored to better keep their fresh-like quality attributes. This review discusses the recent advances in the use of innovative modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) systems to maintain freshness of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, special attention is devoted to the development of coatings that can be used as a complement or alternative to MAP.