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Genetic influence on browning kinetics of globe artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hegi] head tissues

Raccuia, S.A., Mellili, M.G.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 131-137
Cynara cardunculus, artichokes, colorimetry, experimental design, genotype, harvest date
Among the globe artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. scolymus (L.) Hegi] head compounds, the phenolic ones are the most important for their nutritional and technological value. Moreover the phenolic content is one of the main responsible of browning phenomenon during the industrial transformation of the globe artichoke heads. The past studies on the browning phenomenon tried to identify the mechanism of browning in order to prevent it. A different approach could be to study the susceptibility to browning of the cutted heads in relation to genotype. The objective of this paper was the evaluation of the genotype on browning kinetics of the cutter heads. During 1996-1997, at Cassibile - Syracuse, in a randomised block experimental design eight genotypes of globe artichoke (four with late harvest and four with early one) were grown. In laboratory, the tristimulus values L*, a* and b* (CIE, 1976) were measured, by Colorimeter 'Minolta CR 300', on the cut surface of a representative sample of the harvested heads, immediately after the cut and then with five second intervals until the values remained constant. The obtained results showed that during the first 100 seconds from the cut L* decreased with the increasing of the browning phenomenon, a* varied form negative to positive values, while b* quickly decreased. A great variability among genotypes was observed. Also the early genotype heads were characterised by a minor browning kinetics, so they resulted more suitable to the industrial transformation.