Date of Award

December 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Food Technology

Committee Member

Andrew Hurley

Committee Member

William Bridges

Committee Member

Anthony Pometto


Strawberry waste occurs at all lifecycle stages from production, distribution, retail, and household handling; this is an estimated 640 million pounds of strawberries lost valuing at $1.4 billion dollars. Active packaging strategies based on the generation of gaseous chlorine dioxide in the primary package have potential to provide to preserve strawberries in storage extending the shelf life. Benchtop studies have shown significant bactericidal activity of chlorine dioxide and quality preserving effects. As chlorine dioxide travels from the source through the package the concentration decreases as it acts at the surface of the food product. As a result, dose is uneven in the package. A multifactorial model was created to determine how the packaging environment influences the distribution of chlorine dioxide gas. A prototype package insert was developed to improve the gas distribution within the primary package system. When tested in a food trial challenge chlorine dioxide was able to extend the shelf life of strawberries in simulated distribution conditions. The chlorine dioxide releasing widget increased shelf life beyond what was seen with the sachet alone, extending shelf life by 3 days vs 1 day. Localized bleaching was observed near the site of the sachet, these bleaching effects were mitigated when the widget was utilized. High doses of chlorine dioxide were utilized to recreate the bleaching observed in the food trial study and strawberry analytes were analyzed to determine the chemical changes occurring during these events.



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