Sensorial and physicochemical quality responses of pears (cv Rocha) to long-term storage under controlled atmospheres

Andrea C. Galvis-Sánchez, Susana C. Fonseca, Alcina M. M. B. Morais, F. Xavier Malcata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Pears (cv Rocha) kept under controlled atmospheres (CA) and air were evaluated after long-term storage in terms of sensory attributes and physicochemical parameters, namely colour, firmness, polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activity and concentration of hydroxycinnamic compounds. The CA conditions were all combinations of 2 and 4% (v/v) O2 with 0.5 and 1.5% (v/v) CO 2. Storage under CA conditions produced a beneficial effect on 'Rocha' pears in maintaining their quality and, consequently, in extending their shelf life and acceptability. Clear differences in sensorial attributes, colour parameters and PPO activity were found between CA- and air-stored pears. The effect provided by the CA conditions persisted throughout the time of exposure to the open air. The 2% O2 concentration produced a more beneficial effect than its 4% counterpart on the sensorial and physical characteristics of the pears. The former concentration of O2 prevented yellowing and allowed regular softening, hence keeping a high flavour quality. No clear effects could be associated with CO2 levels. Empirical models were developed that describe the effects of O2 and CO2 concentrations, as well as time at room temperature on physicochemical parameters pertaining to 'Rocha' pears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1646-1656
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004


  • Colour
  • Firmness
  • Phenolic compounds
  • PPO activity
  • Pyrus communis L
  • Regression analysis
  • Sensory quality


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