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Modified atmosphere packaging of leaf mustard during evaporative cooling and CoolBot cold storage
- Peoun, P., Buntong, B., Yim, S., Vat, S., Acedo, A. L. Jr., Easdown, W., Hughes, J. A., Keatinge, J. D. H.
- Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1179 pp. 173-176
- ambient temperature, bags, cold storage, color, colorimetry, cooling, freshness, hardness, leaves, modified atmosphere packaging, mustard greens, polyethylene, storage quality, storage temperature, storage time, total soluble solids, weight loss, wilting
- Leaf mustard is a highly perishable vegetable, and wilts rapidly within hours of harvest. Postharvest techniques are therefore vital to maintain freshness for longer. This study was conducted to determine the storability of leaf mustard using the simple evaporative cooler (EC), developed in an earlier research project, and the low-cost CoolBot cold chamber set at 13°C. This was combined with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) using a 25-micron-thick polyethylene bag. Storage at ambient temperature with and without MAP was also included as a control. All treatments were replicated three times, with each replicate having 10-15 crowns of leaf mustard. Ambient storage in the open resulted in rapid wilting and weight loss that exceeded 15% after only 1 day of storage. EC and CoolBot storage kept weight loss below 10% during this period. MAP was very effective in reducing weight loss, regardless of the storage conditions. Leaf color did not change much during the first 2 days of storage. With prolonged storage, the mustard yellowed, as indicated by an increase in colorimetric L* values. MAP seemed to favor yellowing over this period. Shore values for hardness of the leaves did not show a clear treatment effect. Total soluble solids did not change much with storage, except that they increased in the later part of storage in the open at ambient temperature or in the CoolBot chamber when the mustards became senescent. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of MAP, EC and CoolBot storage in slowing mustard dehydration.