Main content area

Biochemical study of leaf browning in minimally processed leaves of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. Acephala)

Degl'Innocenti, E., Guidi, L., Pardossi, A., Tognoni, F.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2005 v.53 no.26 pp. 9980-9984
Lactuca sativa, lettuce, minimally processed foods, enzymatic browning, enzyme activity, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, catechol oxidase, peroxidases, cold storage, storage quality, ascorbic acid, antioxidant activity, cultivars
A series of biochemical parameters, including the concentration of total ascorbic acid (ASA(tot)) and the activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and peroxidases (PODs), was investigated during cold storage (72 h at 4 degrees C in the dark) in fresh-cut (minimally processed) leaves of two lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. acephala) cultivars differing in the susceptibility to tissue browning: Green Salade Bowl (GSB), susceptible, and Red Salade Bowl (RSB), resistant. The two cultivars showed differences also at the biochemical level. The content in ASA(tot) increased in RSB, as a consequence of increased DHA concentration; conversely, ASA(tot) diminished in GSB, in which ASA was not detectable after 72 h of storage, thus suggesting a disappearance of ascorbate (both ASA and DHA) into nonactive forms. The antioxidant capacity (as determined by using FRAP analysis) decreased significantly during storage in RSB, while a strong increase was observed in GSB. PAL activity increased soon after processing reaching a maximum by 3 h, then it declined to a relatively constant value in RSB, while in GSB it showed a tendency to decrease in the first few hours from harvest and processing. POD activity, at least for chlorogenic acid, increased significantly during storage only in GSB.