Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Duncan Darby

Committee Member

Kay Cooksey

Committee Member

Jeffery Rhodehamel

Committee Member

Paul Dawson


ClO2 as an antimicrobial gas in the headspace of produce package is a relatively novel approach. Gaseous ClO2 is more effective than aqueous ClO2 and can be used in the headspace of fresh food packages. ClO2 gas can diffuse into product surfaces and films. As an oxidizer, it can react with and change polymeric package components, possibly affecting the product’s shelflife.

This research studied effects of ClO2 gas treatments on produce packaging materials (APET, two PE types, Nylon). The treatment group (with ClO2) and the control group (without ClO2) of packaging materials were stored at room temperature and at three different relative humidities (49%, 84%, 99%) in sealed chambers. Dart drop, tensile tests, Tg, Tm, Tc, and water vapor transmission rate of materials were performed at six times over a 21-day period. A low dose (2 was a suitable application in these produce packaging materials. This research allows further experimenting with the literature on varying RH’s for the general application (ppm) of ClO2 on each polymer used for common fresh produce applications.

This research also studied the use of ClO2 gas sachets to determine the effects on the sensory properties of strawberries. Conditions included typical strawberry storage systems (open pallet system under cold conditions (0-2 0C) and a controlled atmosphere storage system (99% RH, 0-2 0C). Both conditions were tested for 21 days with and without ClO2.

ClO2 gas preserved strawberry quality with or without maximum RH. In the absence of 99% RH, ClO2 treated strawberries exhibited better quality than the untreated berries. High RH (99%) alone has significant quality retention of strawberries in a chamber system with or without ClO2. Either ClO2 or high (99%) RH plays a significant role in strawberry preservation in each other’s absence.

Author ORCID Identifier




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