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Revista Lasallista de Investigación

Print version ISSN 1794-4449


RESTREPO FLOREZ, C. E; MONTES ALVAREZ, J; GOMEZ ALVAREZ, L. M  and  CANO SALAZAR, J. A. Effects of packaging in modified atmospheres on the conservation of corn arepas. Rev. Lasallista Investig. [online]. 2012, vol.9, n.2, pp.102-111. ISSN 1794-4449.

Introduction. In Colombia corn arepas are an ethnic type of food and a basic product of the food basket. One of the main inconvenients associated to their conservation is their deterioration by molds and yeast, which limits the product's life to five days. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the importance of managing the cold chain, and therefore it is not being properly applied in the arepas commercialization. Objective. Evaluating the following as-pects: combined conservation systems by the use of gas mixtures (100% CO2 40% CO2 /60% N2 and vacuum), Packaging structures of intermediate and high barrier, to gases, Temperature control in storage, aiming to increase the arepas life for its national and international commercialization. Methodology. Microbiological, sensorial and physical-chemical analysis were performed in order to determine the life of the product, according to NTC 5372 regularon, during 65 days, evaluating the arepa's stability at room temperature, refrigerated and under fluctuating conditions, mixing room temperature and refrigeraron. The experimental design consisted of the evaluation of the effect of the three storage conditions combined with two packaging structures: high barrier (PET/LDPE/EVOH/LDPE top and BOPA/EVOH/BOPA/LDPE bottom in 150 microns) and intermedíate (PET/LDPE/EVOH/LDPE top and BOPA/EVOH/BOPA/LDPE bottom in 130 microns) packaging gases (100% C02, 40% CO2 /60% N2 and Vacuum). Results. The 100% C02 combination -intermedíate barrierkept the microbiological and sensorial characteristics during 9 days at room temperature (25°C ± 2°C), 28 days under fluctuating conditions and 5 days refrigerated (5°C ± 2°C), thus increasing the arepa's stability an 80% when stored at room temperature, and 100% in refrigeration. Conclusión. The evaluation of the different treatments used to conserve corn arepas permitted to establish that treatment number three, in which a 100% C02 atmosphere and an intermedíate barrier package were used, conserved the quality characteristics of the product for a longer time.

Keywords : corn arepas; life; modified atmospheres; combined conservaron systems.

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