Preparation of Coated Corrugated Box for Controlled-Release of Chlorine Dioxide and Its Application in Strawberry Preservation
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) has received great attention as a nontoxic and efficient antimicrobial agent for the preservation of fresh fruits and vegetables. A novel two-layer coated corrugated box was developed to release gaseous ClO2 under the trigger of moisture in this study. The inner surface of the box was firstly coated with a mixture of polyvinyl alcohol-NaClO2-diatomite and then with chitosan acetic acid solution. Results showed that ClO2 was successfully released under high humidity due to the reaction of NaClO2, water vapor and acid. The concentration of released ClO2 increased with the increasing NaClO2 content in the coating, while the addition of diatomite stabilized and extended the release. To evaluate the preservation effect, strawberries were packed in the coated box and stored at room temperature. Compared with the control, the decay rate and weight loss of the strawberries packed in the coated box (9 g/L NaClO2) were reduced up to 21.88% and 6.84%, respectively. The surface color, firmness and nutrients content were also better maintained. Therefore, this coated corrugated box with the capability to release ClO2 under the trigger of moisture has great potential to be applied as an antimicrobial packaging for fresh fruits and vegetables.