Controlled atmosphere maintains native and cultivated yerba mate quality during shelf life after long-term storage






ABSTRACT Yerba mate shows social and economic importance for the Southern Latin American countries due to its easy production and large market range. However, there is a problem to harvest the yerba mate at the correct period and to store it until processing and marketing. Thus, the aim of this paper was to evaluate the interaction among the storage in controlled atmosphere, effect of cultivation form and shelf life period on yerba mate quality after long-term controlled atmosphere storage. The experiment was conducted in a factorial arrangement (3 controlled atmosphere conditions × 2 cultivation forms × 4 weeks of shelf life). Native yerba mate, stored under controlled atmosphere, showed higher chlorophyll concentration as compared to the cultivated one. Carotenoid concentration increased up to the third week of shelf life and thereafter remained constant, if the yerba mate was stored under ambient conditions. Oxygen partial pressure lowering allows long-term yerba mate storage, keeping its quality during four shelf life weeks at 20 °C. Controlled atmosphere is an efficient technique for yerba mate quality keeping during long-term storage and shelf life, allowing the harvest of the raw material at the correct period and the maintenance of its quality until processing and marketing. The cultivation form has a significant effect on the storage and shelf life potential of yerba mate stored under controlled atmosphere.

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