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The consumption of Brassicas is recommended to reduce the incidence of human cancer. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is a vegetable with high nutritional value thanks to its richness in vitamins, antioxidant compounds, anti-carcinogenic molecules and glucosinolates. However, the content of these substances can change significantly according to the harvest, handling and storage conditions.
Broccoli is a highly perishable vegetable, it decays quickly after harvest and its postharvest life is quite short because of yellowing, softening, water loss, decay and off-odors occurring.
Dr Kabir, researcher at Department of Horticulture of Selcuk University (Turkey), has conducted a study on broccoli florets. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of 1-MCP (1-Methylcyclopropene) and MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) alone or in combination on postharvest life and quality of broccoli stored at 0°C and 95% RH for 28 days.
For the work, four treatments were tested:
- Control (no 1-MCP and no MAP)
- 1-MCP, broccoli was exposed to 1µl/L 1-MCP (0.14% active compound)
- 1-MCP + MAP
The samples were analyzed to evaluate quality changes at the beginning of the storage and after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days of storage. The analysis for quality evaluation were color measurements, weight loss, total phenol content and ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, titratable acidity and soluble solid content and visual quality.
The results of soluble solid content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA) and weight loss are reported in the table 1.
Click here to enlarge the table.
In addition, in 1-MCP combined with MAP treated florets, 47% more chlorophyll and 24% more total phenols were detected compared to control florets.
Dr Sabir concludes recommending to use 1-MCP combined with MAP for maintaining the postharvest quality of broccoli florets for 28 days.
Source: Sabir F. K, "Postharvest quality response of broccoli florets to combined application of 1-methylcyclopropene and modified atmosphere packaging", 2012, Agricultural and Food Science, Issue No. 21, pagg. 421-429. http://ojs.tsv.fi/index.php/AFS/article/view/6387
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