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Modelling the respiration rate of minimally processed broccoli (Brassica rapa var. sylvestris) for modified atmosphere package design


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In this work, the effect of temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide on the respiration rate of minimally processed broccoli was studied to develop suitable modified atmosphere packaging. Respiration rate was measured at 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 °C under different gas compositions of O2 and CO2 (1%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 21% of O2 with the balance N2, a mixture of 10% and 20% of carbon dioxide with the balance air and a mixture at 3% of O2 and 15% of CO2 with the balance N2). As expected, temperature was the most influential factor on respiration rate, for all atmospheres tested: increasing the temperature from 3 to 20 °C resulted, for air-stored samples, in a 84% change in oxygen respiration rate, whereas at constant temperature, the respiration rate decreased by 35% with lowering the O2 concentration from 21% to 1% and by 44% with increasing the CO2 concentration from 0% to 20%. The Michaelis and Menten competitive model with maximum respiration rate varying against temperature with an Arrhenius equation accurately described the influence of gas composition and temperature on the respiration rate of minimally processed broccoli, and it was used to design a suitable package.