Effect of Ethylene Scavenger Sachets in Modified Atmosphere Packaging on the Shelf Life of Date Fruit Cv. Barhee



Barhee is considered as one of the most popular date cultivars worldwide. Its fruits, because of low tannin content and low astringency can be, and are consumed at Khalal stage. Due to its high water content and respiration rate, Khalal date fruit is very perishable and of low storage life. Limited supply, and difficulties involved in marketing of this product, makes one think of new packaging methods to be considered in developing the market for fruits of this cultivar. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different packaging methods (control, passive modified atmosphere packaging, modified atmosphere packaging containing ethylene scavenger sachets) and two storage temperatures (5 and 15°C) on the storage life of date fruit cv Barhee harvested at Khalal stage. During 27 days of storage, fruits were analyzed in 3 day intervals and evaluated for different quality parameters including flesh firmness, weight loss, titrable acidity, total soluble solids (TSS), pH, TSS/TA, percentage of Rutab, electrolyte leakage, surface color, antioxidant capacity and phenolic content. Results showed that fruits in MAP treatment with ethylene scavenger sachets experienced the lowest percentage of weight loss (0.42%), lowest percentage of spots turning into Rutab (35%) and maximum tissue firmness. They also experienced low changes in the other marginal parameters tested. Among the two studied storage temperatures, 5°C exerted better effects on the maintenance of quality attributes.