Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 3&4,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Qualitative and physiological response of minimally processed garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) to harvest handling and storage conditions


Li Juan Zhan, Emanuela Fontana, Giorgio Tibaldi, Silvana Nicola *

Recieved Date: 2009-05-06, Accepted Date: 2009-09-28


Garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) has become a new leafy vegetable for the fresh-cut sector. The objective of this work was to study the effects of harvest handling practices (packaged immediately after harvest, S0; packaged after 1 h of storage at 28°C, S1) and storage conditions (light; dark) on the physiology and quality of minimally processed garden cress stored at 4°C for five days. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, pigments, ascorbic acid (AA) and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), total phenolics (TP) content, and antioxidant capacity (AC) were analyzed at pre-processing and at 1, 3 and 5 days after packaging. Fresh weight (FW) loss during shelf-life was measured daily. The S1 harvest handling practice significantly influenced the pigments content which decreased over time, thus highlighting the importance of starting the cold chain as early as possible. PAL changed significantly over time, increased rapidly by 24.5% one day of shelf-life and then leveled off. At preprocessing, the PPO was higher in the S1 samples than in the S0 samples, indicating that the S1 treatment could have induced PPO activity. PPO increased more over time under light than under dark conditions. POD was significantly influenced by both the harvest handling technique and the storage condition over time. POD was higher in the S1 samples than in the S0 samples (4.792 and 3.742 ±0.268 ∆Aλ min-1 g-1FW, respectively). It increased over time and reached a maximum value earlier under dark than under light conditions. The harvest handling technique significantly influenced the AA and DHA content over time. The S1 treatment caused ca 13% loss in AA before packaging. AA decreased and DHA increased during shelf-life. The TP content was significantly influenced by the interaction between the harvest handling technique and storage condition over time. The greatest TP content increase was measured in the S0 samples and in particular in samples stored under light conditions (33.5%). The AC significantly changed over time. Like TP, the AC increased from pre-processing to the first day of shelf-life, and then started to gradually decrease, reaching a reduction of 16.0% of the initial value after five days. The fresh weight loss was minimal (0.21%) at the end of shelf-life. An efficient and rapid harvest handling and storage implementation proved fundamental to reduce quality deterioration during shelf-life.


Fresh-cut convenience, shelf life, antioxidant capacity, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, freshness, postharvest physiology, PAL, PPO, POD

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 43-50

Full text for Subscribers

Note to users

The requested document is freely available only to subscribers/registered users with an online subscription to the Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment. If you have set up a personal subscription to this title please enter your user name and password. All abstracts are available for free.

Article purchasing

If you like to purchase this specific document such as article, review or this journal issue, contact us. Specify the title of the article or review, issue, number, volume and date of the publication. Software and compilation, Science & Technology, all rights reserved. Your use of this website details or service is governed by terms of use. Authors are invited to check from time to time news or information.

Purchase this Article:   20 Purchase PDF Order Reprints for 15

Share this article :