Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Packaging Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Kay Cooksey

Committee Member

George Cavender

Committee Member

Patrick Gerard


As food prices continue to rise, many consumers are looking at ways to cut back on spending and many look to how much they spend on food. Food waste in an average American household of four leads to about $1,500 worth of unused/wasted food annually,

This study was conducted to see how the use of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) could be used to treat and extend the shelf life of freshly sliced tomatoes for food service applications. Prior research in this regard has looked at whole tomatoes as opposed to sliced varieties, and many have not utilized a sensory panel to comment on a consumer’s perspective of how the treatments could affect their decision making. Through the use of texture analysis, color readings, as well as sensory were used with statistical analysis performed to determine if any showed significance based on the treatment that was performed on the tomatoes, with treatments ranging from control (no ClO2 treatment), bulk treated by ClO2, and finally bulk treated by ClO2 with a slow-release media sachet in package during storage. It was found that there was no significance with regards to treatment when it came to textural analysis by either TPA or shear blade tests throughout the refrigerated storage period of 20 days. There was a significant difference related to sensory testing. Panelists significantly preferred sliced tomatoes treated in bulk and then stored with in-tray slow-release sachets compared to tomatoes treated in bulk only or the control (untreated) tomatoes. There were no significant differences for tomatoes based on sensory assessment of color, aroma, or taste, indicating chlorine dioxide treatment had no negative effects on the sensory properties of the fresh sliced tomatoes. This is important because the tomatoes can be treated with a quality shelf life extending step while still maintaining sensory acceptability. The results of this study can be used to help determine if use of chlorine dioxide for shelf-life extension of fresh sliced tomatoes is beneficial for use with foodservice operations.

Author ORCID Identifier




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