Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Mar?a del R. Moreiraab, Alejandra G. Ponceb, Carlos E. del Vallea, L. Pereyraa and S.I. Rourab

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Argentina, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET). Argentina.

Key words: Cut-lettuce, heat shock treatments, ascorbic acid, total microbial counts, sensory attributes

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2003, volume 10, issue 2, pages 87-92.

Abstract: Changes in ascorbic acid contents, microbial population and sensory attributes of cut Romaine lettuce subjected to thermal shocks were investigated. Immersion of cut lettuce in the thermal baths produced reduction in the ascorbic acid contents between 190 and 300 g kg-1, with the greater losses corresponding to the higher bath temperatures. However, the rate of ascorbic acid degradation during refrigerated storage was independent of the thermal treatment and all samples presented a sharp decrease during the first day of storage and a gradual decrease thereafter. Thermal shocks did not reduce the initial microbial population. During storage, an increment in microbial counts was observed, being more notorious in samples that had been exposed to the highest shock temperature (50 ?C). The thermal treatment at 50 ?C was the only one to delay the onset of midrib and edge browning up to four days of refrigerated storage. This midrib and edge browning was considered to the most relevant to the overall visual quality of the product.

Journal of Applied Horticulture