How Does Packaging Affect the Ripening of Fruit?

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According to the Montreal Gazette, the type of packaging used during the transportation and storage of fruits can have an effect on the rate of ripening. Fruit packaging is designed to reduce chemical contamination and the effects of oxygen, light and water vapor on packaged fruit.

Gases

  • The atmosphere in fruit packaging changes over time, causing a change in the state of the fruit. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) reports that, after picking, fruit takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide. When the atmosphere has too much oxygen, fruit can become overripe as it is transported and stored.

Packaging

  • The Montreal Gazette explains fruit is commonly packed in polythene plastic bags held in cardboard boxes. Fruit must be picked at the right time, allowing the fruit to complete a process called respiration in its packaging to become ripe by the time it is unpacked.

Temperature

  • Temperature plays an important role in the packaging of fruit, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension. In general, packaging should allow the fruit to maintain a controlled temperature, with high temperatures leading to faster ripening and more spoilage.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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