Quality of olive oil reformulated MRE entree packaged in oxygen-absorbing film
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An iron-based oxygen absorber (ABSO2RB) activated by moisture was incorporated into a retort laminate and used to package chicken pesto with noodles. The effect of packaging material (regular MRE and oxygen-absorbing pouches) and reformulation with olive oil on the quality and shelf life of the entre were investigated. Physical properties (color, texture, moisture, water activity), chemical properties (pH, TBARS), and microbiological quality (Total aerobic, coliforms, Escherichia coli, Yeast and Molds, Anaerobic plate counts) were measured in triplicates in an accelerated shelf-life study for 6 months at 37.8C. Samples stored at 26.7C for 12 months served as calibrated controls. Consumer and trained panel tests were carried out using a 9-point hedonic scale. The ABSO2RB pouches performed well in terms of seal integrity and strength and limited the formation of rancid fatty acids in olive oil throughout the shelf-life study. Soybean formulations in ABSO2RB pouches had the lowest (p<0.05) Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) value. Consumer and trained panelists accepted the olive oil formulations, in both packages. Results from this study will help MRE developers to expand the number of items using healthier oils. If future considerations to replace MRE packaging are needed, the ABSO2RB film will be a suitable alternative. 2011 Elsevier Ltd.