VACUUM PACKAGING IS EFFICIENT TO REMOVE ASTRINGENCY AND TO MAINTAIN THE FIRMNESS OF ‘GIOMBO’ PERSIMMON
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to develop a simple technique to remove astringency and maintain the pulp firmness of ‘Giombo’ persimmons. Fruit were packaged in three different plastic packages: low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene-polyamide (PE-PA). Packages with dimensions of 30 cm x 50 cm and 20 µm thickness were sealed under vacuum. Fruit uncovered in plastic film were used as control samples. After packaging, fruits were stored at ambient conditions (22°C and 70% RH) for five days. After this period, fruits were removed from the package and kept at the same previous conditions for six days and evaluated every two days. All plastic packages showed effectiveness in removing astringency, but only PE-PA maintained pulp firmness during the six days after package removal. LDPE and PP films also caused reduction of astringency while pulp firmness was properly maintained until the fourth day. These two films did not succeed in obtaining vacuum, which was only achieved by PE-PA. PE-PA reduces astringency faster and maintains fruit firmness for a longer time at room temperature.