EVALUATION AND MAINTENANCE OF FLAVOR, NUTRITIONAL AND OTHER QUALITY ATTRIBUTES OF FRESH AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE
Location: Food Quality Laboratory
Title: Postharvest biology, quality and shelf-life of buckwheat microgreens
Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2012
Publication Date: April 19, 2012
Citation: Kou, L., Luo, Y., Yang, T., Xiao, Z., Turner, E.R., Lester, G.E., Wang, Q. 2012. Postharvest biology, quality and shelf-life of buckwheat microgreens. [abstract]. BARC Poster Day.
Buckwheat microgreens are rich in antioxidants and provitamins/vitamins, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and a-tocopherol. However, short shelf life has limited their commercial use. The purpose of this study was to optimize storage conditions to extend the shelf life of buckwheat microgreens. Storage temperature, package film oxygen transmission rate (OTR), and wash conditions were assessed for their effects on quality and shelf life. Temperature significantly (P < 0.0001) affected the package atmosphere and product quality. At the end of storage, samples stored at 1, 5 and 10 °C exhibited lower microbial growth and tissue electrolyte leakage, and higher overall quality scores, than those stored at 15 and 20 °C. Package film OTR significantly (P < 0.05) affected package headspace atmospheric composition, and thus the quality and shelf life of microgreens. Buckwheat microgreens enclosed in optimum OTR package films retained freshness and overall product quality. A chlorine (100 mg/L) wash significantly (P<0.05) reduced the initial microbial populations; however, after 7 days, microbial counts in the washed samples rebounded. These findings indicate that buckwheat microgreens should be stored at 5 -10 °C with moderately high O2 and moderately low CO2 levels to maintain optimal quality and achieve maximal shelf life.