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Pre-harvest treatment of spinach with Ascophyllum nodosum extract improves post-harvest storage and quality

Fan, Di, Kandasamy, Saveetha, Hodges, D. Mark, Critchley, Alan T., Prithiviraj, Balakrishnan
Scientia horticulturae 2014 v.170 pp. 70-74
Ascophyllum nodosum, Spinacia oleracea, chlorophyll, color, fresh-cut produce, harvest date, leaves, lipid peroxidation, phytopharmaceuticals, postharvest treatment, preharvest treatment, spinach, storage quality, storage time, turgor
Fresh spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) leaves contain high concentrations of beneficial phytochemicals. However, spinach does not store well and is highly perishable especially during handling and post-harvest storage. In this study, we investigated the effect of pre-harvest root-treatment of spinach with Ascophyllum nodosum extract (ANE) at different concentrations (0, 0.1, 1.0, or 5.0gL−1) on post-harvest quality of fresh-cut spinach over a 35-day storage period. At the time of harvest there was no significant difference in dry weight, chlorophyll, ascorbate and lipid peroxidation between ANE-treated and non-treated plants. However, the loss in fresh weight and visual quality (color and turgor) of spinach leaves during storage was reduced by pre-harvest application of ANE. Lipid peroxidation was significantly reduced in ANE-treated leaves. The total chlorophyll content and ascorbate content in the control and treated leaves was however identical over the storage period and decreased at a similar rate. A negative correlation was observed between visual quality and lipid peroxidation. The results show that pre-harvest ANE application through root drench, especially at 1.0gL−1, enhanced post-harvest storage quality of spinach leaves.