Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 2, Page 6
Winter 1992
Seeking the consummate citrus container; James Paik is pursuing
the perfect packaging for fresh fruit juices.
     Over the past year, Paik, an assistant professor of food science,
has examined alternative constructions of juice cartons and the
interaction of their interior packaging film with citrus products.
     Industry and consumers alike will benefit from improved packaging
that maintains the quality and flavor of juice over time, he says.
     Under a grant from Westvaco, a packaging company, Paik and his
students tested experimental cartons to determine which packaging
materials were most effective in protecting the vitamins and taste of
fresh juices. The juices were placed in cartons of different materials
and laminates and then refrigerated. Students ran tests every few days
to see which combinations provided the most protection in quality.
After the tests were run, there were back-up taste tests. The study
revealed that the way the cartons were sealed was as important as the
materials used.
     "The best carton uses heat sealing conditions that provide the
strongest barrier against oxygen," he said. "Cartons can be sealed at
different temperatures and pressures and for different lengths of
     In another recent study, Paik tested the absorption and
permeability of citrus flavor with polyethylene, polyester and ionomer
packing films. Using inverse gas chromotography, he measured the
interaction between the stationary phase (the packaging material) and
the mobile flavor phase of the juice.
     Although all three polymers are used by industry for packing
film, Paik found that polyester absorbed the least amount of product