Background and Objectives: Dates fruit, Barhi variety, is one of Iran's valuable products, but has not found its rightful place in the national and international markets yet. In order to increase its shelf life and quality protection at Dombaz stage during marketing, this research was performed.
Materials and Methods: Dates fruit were packaged under modified atmosphere (active modification) with two concentrations of gases (5% O2 +10% CO2 +85% N2), (5% O2+20%CO2 +75% N2), and control (passive modification packaging). Five layers of polyethylene bags with 80 micron thickness were used for packaging. The packages were then placed in the cold storage at 0 to -3 oC and 75-80% humidity. After 30, 60 and 90 days, the most important factors of samples such as color changes, invert sugar and total sugar, soluble solids, acidity, pH, conversion percent to Rotab, and weight loss were studied. The data were then analyzed with a factorial experiment in a completely randomized design by SAS software and the means comparisons were done through a Duncan’s test (p<0.05).
Results: Packaged fruits in the active modification by 10% and 20% CO2 had the lowest weight loss than the control. Invert sugar and total sugar increased in the control during the storage time. The quality changes were not significant in the active MAP treatments with 10% and 20% CO2 over the storage time.
Conclusions: The conversion of dates fruit into Rotab had a decreasing trend in the treatments with 10% and 20% CO2, and storage at low temperature. They showed the minimum quality changes. The clearest brown color was observed in the MAP treatment activated with 20% CO2.
Keywords: Modified atmosphere packaging, Quality of Barhi date fruits, Shelf life