Use of activated carbon inside modified atmosphere packages to maintain tomato fruit quality during cold storage

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 22;54(6):2229-35. doi: 10.1021/jf0528761.


Ethylene triggers the ripening process of tomato affecting the storage durability and shelf life (loss of quality) and inducing fruit decay. In this paper, an active packaging has been developed on the basis of the combination of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and the addition of granular-activated carbon (GAC) alone or impregnated with palladium as a catalyst (GAC-Pd). A steady-state atmosphere was 4 and 10 kPa for O2 and CO2 in control packages, while it was 8 and 7 kPa for O2 and CO2 in treated ones. The addition of GAC-Pd led to the lower ethylene accumulation inside packages, while the higher was obtained in controls. The parameters related to ripening showed that treated tomatoes exhibited a reduction in color evolution, softening, and weight loss, especially for GAC-Pd treatment. Moreover, these treatments were also effective in delaying tomato decay. After sensorial panel, tomatoes treated with GAC-Pd received the higher scores in terms of sweetness, firmness, juiciness, color, odor, and flavor. Results from the GC-MS analysis of the MAP headspace showed that 23 volatile compounds were identified in control packages, with these volatiles being significantly reduced in MAP-treated packages, which was correlated to the odor intensity detected by panelists after bag opening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Female
  • Food Packaging / methods*
  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lycopersicon esculentum*
  • Male
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Quality Control
  • Taste


  • Carbon