Effectiveness of active and modified atmosphere packaging on shelf life extension of a cheese tart

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Abstract

This study evaluated the shelf life extension of a cheese cake subjected to modified atmosphere (MAP) and active packaging (AP). Cheese cakes were packaged under different N2/CO2 ratios (70/30 and 20/80) (MAP batches), by placing a sachet of an iron oxide-based oxygen absorber inside trays (AP batch) and with air (air batch). Changes in microbial growth, in-package gas composition, chemical–physical parameters including texture and sensory attributes were monitored for 48 days at 20 °C. AP allowed a mould-free cheese cake shelf life of 48 days, MAP extended the shelf life of samples packaged under 30% and 80% CO2 up to 14 and 34 days, respectively, whereas tarts stored with air spoiled after 7 days. MAP resulted in a significant increase in hardness after 14 days of storage, whereas AP tarts recovered the initial texture after 48 days. Panellists judged AP tarts over the acceptability threshold during the whole shelf life of cheese tarts.

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