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Report on the first meeting on Tacler Platform with Quafety Scientists

As anticipated in the last days (read here), the scientists of EU project Quafety are on the platform of Tacler July, on Friday from 2 to 3 pm (GMT +2), to discuss some topics that are being studied within the project.

A brief report of the first meeting which occurred on 11 July follows.

During the meeting, Dr Ana Amaro of the Catholic University of Portugal was interviewed on "Nutritional and functional quality of ready-to-eat rocket leaves as affected by processing, modified atmosphere and storage temperature".

From the interview resulted that the aim of the research group of Dr Ana Amaro within Quafety Project is the selection and the implementation of efficient techniques to assess the representative chemical and biochemical markers of nutritional and functional quality with the final objective of modelling and establishing the effect of different processing conditions on these relevant markers, such as total phenolics.

The discussion was especially focused on fresh-cut rocket, which is one of the most important fresh-cut leafy vegetables in Europe with lettuce, chicory, spinach, and corn salad.

Dr Ana Amaro explained that the most crucial operations affecting the leaves quality during minimal processing are washing, decontamination, centrifugation and packaging. These operations cause a mechanical damage to the plant tissue inducing microbiological, enzymatic, and physicochemical reactions that have a negative impact on the quality, and consequently on the shelf-life.

In her research, Dr Ana Amaro tested also the effect of storage conditions, such as modified atmosphere and temperature, on the shelf-life of quality. The Portuguese scientists found that the optimal MAP and storage temperature to preserve the phenolic compounds for 6-day shelf-life are 5% of initial oxygen level and 5°C. Moreover, they observed that in these storage conditions the antioxidant capacity and phenolic compounds increased from 2 to 6 days of storage, while vitamin C decreased after the first 2 days of storage.

You can find the full version of the interview and of the open discussion registering on www.tacler.com and visiting the Quafety section.

We wait for next 18 July at 2.00 pm (GMT+2) on Tacler platform for the second meeting with Dr Maria Luisa Amodio of University of Foggia (Italy). Dr Amodio will speak on predicting shelf life using external and internal markers: a case study on rocket leaves.

See you Friday 18th on Tacler!

Further info:

Dr Ana Amaro
Email: aamaro@porto.ucp.it

Publication date: 7/17/2014
Author: Emanuela Fontana
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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