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The quality of asparagus as affected by preharvest factors
- Siomos, Anastasios S.
- Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.233 pp. 510-519
- asparagus spears, bioactive compounds, bitterness, color, growers, odors, texture
- Asparagus quality is very important for both growers and consumers. Among the commercial grading standards, the appearance (shape, size and color) of the spear is the most critical quality attribute. However, organoleptic attributes (texture, taste, aroma, flavor and bitterness) determine whether asparagus is accepted or rejected by the consumer, while the presence of bioactive compounds, beneficial for human health, is becoming increasingly valued. This review details the effect of genetic, environmental, agronomic and harvest factors on asparagus quality attributes, especially the organoleptic ones and describes the related physiological mechanisms. Finally, the challenges and opportunities related to develop branded asparagus as superior source of potential benefits to consumers’ health are highlighted.