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Sensors 2016, 16(6), 916; doi:10.3390/s16060916

An Assessment of the Influence of the Industry Distribution Chain on the Oxygen Levels in Commercial Modified Atmosphere Packaged Cheddar Cheese Using Non-Destructive Oxygen Sensor Technology

1
Food Packaging Group, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork T12 YN60, Ireland
2
Biophysics and Bioanalysis Group, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College Cork, Cork T12 YN60, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1259 KB, uploaded 20 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

The establishment and control of oxygen levels in packs of oxygen-sensitive food products such as cheese is imperative in order to maintain product quality over a determined shelf life. Oxygen sensors quantify oxygen concentrations within packaging using a reversible optical measurement process, and this non-destructive nature ensures the entire supply chain can be monitored and can assist in pinpointing negative issues pertaining to product packaging. This study was carried out in a commercial cheese packaging plant and involved the insertion of 768 sensors into 384 flow-wrapped cheese packs (two sensors per pack) that were flushed with 100% carbon dioxide prior to sealing. The cheese blocks were randomly assigned to two different storage groups to assess the effects of package quality, packaging process efficiency, and handling and distribution on package containment. Results demonstrated that oxygen levels increased in both experimental groups examined over the 30-day assessment period. The group subjected to a simulated industrial distribution route and handling procedures of commercial retailed cheese exhibited the highest level of oxygen detected on every day examined and experienced the highest rate of package failure. The study concluded that fluctuating storage conditions, product movement associated with distribution activities, and the possible presence of cheese-derived contaminants such as calcium lactate crystals were chief contributors to package failure. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensor; oxygen; packaging; distribution; cheese; industry sensor; oxygen; packaging; distribution; cheese; industry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

O’ Callaghan, K.A.; Papkovsky, D.B.; Kerry, J.P. An Assessment of the Influence of the Industry Distribution Chain on the Oxygen Levels in Commercial Modified Atmosphere Packaged Cheddar Cheese Using Non-Destructive Oxygen Sensor Technology. Sensors 2016, 16, 916.

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