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Nitrate content of root vegetables during different storage conditions

Ilić, Z. S., Šunić, L.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1079 pp. 659-665
Apium graveolens var. rapaceum, Daucus, Pastinaca sativa, carrots, celeriac, harvest date, humidity, hydrogen peroxide, nitrates, parsnips, roots, sodium hypochlorite, storage time, temperature, washing
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of harvest maturity and postharvest washing treatments (hot water, H2O2 and NaOCl) or without washing (control), on the nitrate content of carrots (Daucus carrota ‘Bolero F1’), celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum ‘Mentor’) and parsnip (Pastinaca sativa ‘Banatski dugi’) roots stored at 0±1°C and >95% RH (S-1) or at 0-5°C and 85-92% RH (S-2) during 180 days of storage. Nitrate content was analyzed after 0, 60, 120 and 180 days of storage. Nitrate content of the root vegetables depended on the species (cereliac>carrot>parsnip), time of harvest (late harvest>regular harvest) and year of production (2013>2012>2011). The highest nitrate concentrations were found in celeriac (675 mg·kg-1 fw at first harvest in 2013). Nitrate levels in carrot ranged from 149 to 285 mg·kg-1 fw, while in parsnips no detectable significant amounts of nitrate were found (<50 mg·kg-1 fw). Storage condition (S-2; high temperature and low humidity) and prolonged storage resulted in changes of nitrate content in the root vegetables. In the first harvest, nitrate content in carrot and celeriac roots decreased during S-1 storage. In the second harvest nitrate content in carrots and celeriac increased with prolonged storage in both storage rooms and all treatments. The different washing treatments and the non washed-control roots had similar nitrate content during storage.