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Effect of heat treatment and individual shrink packaging on quality and nutritional value of bell pepper stored at suboptimal temperature


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The goal of this study was to develop a technology for prolonged storage of pepper fruit at low temperature, based on physical treatments and packaging materials. Physical and compositional changes of red bell pepper fruit (Capsicum annuum L. cv.’Selika’) were monitored during 21 days of cold storage (at 2 °C) plus 3 days at 20 °C (market simulation). Fruits were treated with tap and hot water and stored without packaging or sealing each fruit in individual shrink packaging (Cryovac®). This research revealed that individual shrink packaging following prestorage with hot water rinse (55 °C for 15 s) over brushes, significantly reduced weight loss, softening, decay incidence and chilling injury, while maintaining a quality. The wrapped fruit ripened normally (carotenoid content increased) during shelf-life period, when shifted to 20 °C after unwrapping. This study showed that antioxidant levels of pepper fruit may be preserved during storage.