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Fresh-cut Broccoli florets
Better processing primary inflorescenceThe shelf-life of fresh-cut vegetables may be significantly affected by the type and quality of raw material. Argentinian scientists have evaluated the effects of the type of inflorescence (primary and lateral) used for minimal processing on the shelf-life of fresh-cut broccoli florets. The study was published last March on Postharvest Biology and Technology journal.
Florets from primary and lateral heads were cut and washed with chlorinated water, rapidly cooled to 4°C, packed in plastic trays covered with perforated PVC and stored at 4°C for 0, 14 or 21 days. During storage floret deterioration, respiration rate, weight loss, color, chlorophyll content, sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose), antioxidant capacity, and ascorbic acid were measured.
Results showed that florets from lateral inflorescences were more perishable than fresh-cut broccoli obtained from primary heads. Terminal florets retained higher chlorophyll levels and showed delayed yellowing.
Already at harvest primary-broccoli showed lower respiration rate. In addition, florets form terminal heads showed lower weight and sugar loss during storage and maintained higher visual quality throughout the storage period at 4°C. The inflorescence type also had significant impact on the initial level of antioxidants as well as in their metabolism during storage.
Scientists conclude that this study could provide useful information for the fresh-cut vegetable industry.
Source: Joaquín H. Hasperué, Laura Lemoine, Ariel R. Vicente, Alicia R. Chaves, Gustavo A. Martínez, ‘Postharvest senescence of florets from primary and secondary broccoli inflorescences’, March 2015, Postharvest Biology and Technology, Vol. 104, page. 42–47. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925521415000253
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