The future direction of MAP system design must rely on significant advances in understanding the controlling variables and underlying factors influencing product safety and shelf life, particularly for MP fruits and vegetables. A broader knowledge base is needed to more fully understand the microbial ecology of MAP stored MP produce and the effects of processing and different atmospheres employed. More information is needed about the microbiological safety of MAP whole and MP produce, the effects of MAP on growth of psychrotrophic pathogens, interactive effects of microorganisms in MAP produce systems, effects of MAP system failures, and effects of varying storage conditions and temperature abuse. The interactions between MAP and other preservation methods should be defined to enable development of effective multiple barrier preservation systems. As we come to a more comprehensive understanding, more effective and applicable predictive models will be constructed for designing MAP systems for high-quality, safe produce.
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