Influence of cutting size and packaging materials on the quality of fresh-cut winter squash (var. Ajijimang)


Winter squash (var. Ajijimang) washed in 100 mg.L-1 chlorine water and cut into 4 and 8 parts was packed in different packaging materials, 35 μm micro-perforated P-Plus (MPP), 50 μm polyethylene (PE), 80 μm nylon/PE (Ny/PE), and 90 μm PE films separately. Fresh-cut samples were then stored at 10℃ for up to 17 days. The 35 μm MPP having a high oxygen transmission rate (OTR) has the most stable gas exchange ratio while the 80 μm Ny/PE was the most unstable. Firmness of the mesocarp remained acceptable until the end of storage regardless of the cutting size. Soluble solids content (SSC) remained stable and even slightly increased to a certain extent within 6 days. An increase in pH after 10-day storage suggested the activity of microorganisms within the packaging films. Strong off-odor was detected in samples packaged in 80 μm Ny/PE film after 13 days of storage. Mold was observed in all 1/4 cut samples on day 13 except the sample packaged with 80 μm Ny/PE film. However, no mold was found in all 1/8 cut samples except 35 μm MPP film on day 13. Severe mold invasion was apparent on the onset of the 17-day storage in 35 μm MPP film and 50 μm PE film. Samples cut into 8 parts and packed in 80 μm Ny/PE and 90 μm PE films had less mold incidence compared with other two packaging films. Fresh-cut winter squash packaged in 90 μm PE film maintained quality with shelf-life of 10 days at 10℃. Winter squash as fresh-cut commodity, with the right packaging material has the potential for longer period of storage in retail stores.

Share and Cite:

Gibe, A. and Kim, J. (2013) Influence of cutting size and packaging materials on the quality of fresh-cut winter squash (var. Ajijimang). Agricultural Sciences, 4, 477-482. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.49064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Vilas-Boas, E.V. and Kader, A.A. (2001) Effect of 1-MCP on fresh-cut fruits. Perishables Handling Quarterly, 108, 25.
[2] Kim, J.G. (2008). Quality maintenance and food safety of fresh-cut produce in Korea. The Asian and Australasian Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology, 2, 1-6.
[3] Gibe, A.J.G., Yoon, K.S. and Lee, J.W. (2008) NaOCl application and curing in winter squash, “Bochang” for longer storability. Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology, 49, 168-174.
[4] Gimenez, M., Olarte, C., Sanz, S., Lomas, J., Echavarri, F. and Ayala, F. (2002) Relation between spoilage and microbiological quality in minimally processed artichoke packaged with different films. Food Microbiology, 20, 231-242. doi:10.1016/S0740-0020(02)00146-6
[5] Kim, J.G., Luo, Y., Tao, Y., Saftner, R.A. and Gross, K.C. (2005) Effect of initial oxygen concentration and film oxygen transmission rate on the quality of fresh-cut romaine lettuce. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 85, 1622-1630. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2158
[6] Kim, J.G. (2011) Development of postharvest technology to maintain quality of fresh-cut winter squash and pumpkin. In: Development of integrated techniques to produce luxury pumpkin and improve its added value, 2011 Annual research report. National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science.
[7] Lee, J.W. (2007) Development of postharvest technology of winter squash. In: production system and postharvest technology for high quality winter squash, 2011 Annual research report. National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science.
[8] Gibe, A.J.G., Yoon, K.S., Park, K.S. and Lee, J.W. (2008) Influence of curing on quality of squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch. var. Ebis) stored at different temperatures. Asia Life Science, 17, 325-336.
[9] Yaptenco, K.F., Kim, J.G. and Lim, B.S. (2007) Gas transmission rates of commercially available polyethylene and polypropylene films for modified atmosphere packaging. The Philippines Agricultural Scientist, 90, 22-27.
[10] Kim, J.G. (2007) Fresh-cut produce industry and quality management. Semyeong Press, Suwon.
[11] Zagory, D. (1998) An update on modified atmosphere packaging of fresh produce. Packaging International, 117, 5 p.
[12] Jacxsens, L., Devlieghere, F. and Devebere, J. (2004) Quality of equilibrium modified atmosphere packaged (EMAP) fresh-cut vegetables. In: Dris, R. and Jain, S.M., Eds., Production practices and quality assessment of food crops. Quality Handling and Evaluation, 3, 473-523. doi:10.1007/1-4020-2534-3_17
[13] Kunzek, H., Kabbert, R. and Gloyna, D. (1999) Aspects of material science in food processing: Changes in cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Zeitschrift für Lebensmittel Untersuchung und Forschung A, 208, 233-250. doi:10.1007/s002170050410
[14] Stevenson, D.G., Eller, F.J., Wang, L., Jane, J.L., Want, T. and Inglett, G.E. (2007) Oil and tocopherol content and composition of pumpkin seed oil in 12 cultivars. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 4005-4013. doi:10.1021/jf0706979
[15] Lee, J.W., Kim, S.J., Kim, J.B. and Gibe, A.J.G. (2008) Build-up of tocopherols in winter squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch var. Ebis) cured and stored under different conditions. Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology, 49, 239-243.
[16] Roura, S.I., Del Rosario-Moreira, M. and Delvalle, C.E. (2004) Shelf-life of fresh-like ready-to-use diced squash. Journal of Food Quality, 27, 91-101. doi:10.1111/j.1745-4557.2004.tb00640.x
[17] Garcia, E. and Barret, D.M. (2007) Preservative treatments for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California Davis, 32 p.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.