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Compression damage susceptibility of apple fruit packed inside ventilated corrugated paperboard package

Opara, Umezuruike Linus, Fadiji, Tobi
Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.227 pp. 154-161
air, apples, bruising (plant), fresh produce, heat transfer, industry, mechanical damage, packaging materials, paperboard, postharvest treatment, trays
Ventilated corrugated paperboard (VCP) packages are used widely in the fruit industry cold chain and are designed to reduce produce damage while still maintaining adequate air distribution needed to ensure optimum heat transfer from produce to cold air. The packages may experience mechanical failure due to excessive compression load under such cold chain conditions, which may lead to bruising of the packed fresh produce, particularly apple fruit that are susceptible to mechanical damage during postharvest handling. The objectives of this study were to investigate the compression bruise susceptibility of apples packed inside two ventilated corrugated paperboard packages (MK4 and MK6). The MK4 package design has higher length-to-height, longer trays and higher vent area compared to the MK6 package design. Results showed that the susceptibility to bruise damage was affected significantly by package design. Fruit bruise damage inside the MK6 package design was more than the apple fruit bruise damage inside the MK4 package design, with differences of about 63% and 43% in apple bruise area and apple bruise volume, respectively. Irrespective of package design, fruit placed towards the bottom of the package incurred lesser damage.