Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fresh Produce to Extend Shelf-life and Quality

The bagged salad market continues to grow at 10% every year. Although convenient, bagged salads, such as salad spinach, have a short shelf-life (5-7 days) thereby incompatible with the extended retail distribution chains. There is a great motivation for developing methods to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce to open the way to new markets and increase the display time at retail. The proposed project will apply modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) to extend the shelf-life of spinach and spring mix. MAP essentially alters the atmosphere in the pack headspace to reduce respiration rates of the leafy greens and restrict microbial growth. The work will determine the influence of different gas composition and storage conditions on the respiration rate of the test leafy greens. Different packaging types will be tested with respect to maintaining the gas composition within the pack over the designated shelf-life. Packaging will be modified to degrade volatiles produced as a result of the reduced respiration rate. The benefits of the research will be to provide packaging solutions that can extend the shelf-life of spinach and other leafy greens. The technology will enable new markets to be established for the company and reduce waste.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Keith Warriner


Rafia Aktar


Ippolito Group


Food science




University of Guelph



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