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Sorption of carbon dioxide by chickpeas packaged in modified atmospheres

Iturralde-García, Rey D., García-Regueiro, José A., Castañé, Cristina, Riudavets, Jordi
Journal of stored products research 2019 v.83 pp. 54-60
carbon dioxide, chickpeas, containers, modified atmosphere packaging, oxygen, partial pressure, pest control, pests, sorption, storehouses
Modified atmospheres (MAs) with high CO2 concentrations are used for packaging several commodities with different purposes, including as an alternative method for pest control. When used in gas-tight flexible packages, sorption by the commodity produces a vacuum effect that causes the package to adopt a random shape and makes it impossible to reshape it without opening the package. Other than storage problems in retail storehouses, sorption can affect the amount of gas inside the packages needed for pest control. This study reports the amount of CO2 sorption by chickpeas packaged with different MAs and the negative pressure produced due to the decrease in the partial pressure of the gas. Trials were conducted in 710 mL semi-rigid plastic containers filled up to 24%, 48% and 96% of their capacity (filling ratios). Three MAs (90%, 70% and 50% CO2 with a residual of 3%, 6% and 10% O2, respectively, and balanced by N2) were used during 24 h, 48 h, 240 h and 384 h of exposure at 20 °C. The maximum sorption (1.28 g CO2/kg of chickpea) was obtained with the lower filling ratio (24%) and with an initial concentration of 90%. Sorption decreased with the decline in the initial CO2 concentration and with the rise in the filling ratio. The time needed to reach the equilibrium sorption varied between 141 h and 27 h, depending on the initial CO2 concentration and the filling ratio of chickpeas. The vacuum effect produced inside the containers by sorption produced a negative pressure that increased with the increase in the filling ratio and the initial CO2 concentration. Whether the amount of CO2 available in packages after gas sorption is still effective for controlling chickpea pests remains to be tested.