Location: Food Quality Laboratory
Title: Extending shelf-life of broccoli microgreens via pre-harvest calcium application Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Microgreen consumption has been steadily increasing in recent years due to consumer awareness of their unique color, rich flavor, and concentrated bioactive compounds such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, industrial production and marketing is limited by their short shelf-life associated with rapid deterioration in product quality. This study investigated the effect of pre-harvest calcium application on the post-harvest quality and shelf-life of broccoli microgreens. Various concentrations of calcium chloride, or water (control) were sprayed onto broccoli microgreen seedlings once a day for up to 10 days. The seedlings were harvested and packaged in sealed polyethylene film bags with a determined oxygen transmission rate. Product headspace atmospheric conditions, overall visual quality and tissue membrane integrity of the products were evaluated on days 0, 7, 14, and 21, during 5 ºC storage. Results indicated that the 10 mM calcium chloride treatment increased the biomass by more than 50%, and tripled the calcium content of microgreens as compared to the water-spray control. Microgreens treated with 10 mM calcium chloride spray also exhibited higher superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities, lower tissue electrolyte leakage, improved overall visual quality, and reduced microbial growth during storage. These results provide important information for the improvement of industrial applications and retail marketing of broccoli microgreens through enhancing productivity while also improving postharvest quality and shelf-life.