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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437782

Research Project: Chemical and Enzymatic Basis of Browning in Romaine Lettuce

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-43440-006-06-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Objective:
1. To investigate the proteomic profiles of lettuce as a function of pedigree group, season, storage time, in correlation to enzymatic browning. 2. To develop technologies to improve the quality and shelf life of fresh and fresh-cut lettuce.

Approach:
• Romaine lettuce will be processed and packaged under commercial conditions, followed by analysis for their browning potentials using advanced computerized vision technology. Representative accessions will be selected for the focus study based on their browning potentials, browning kinetics, and pedigrees. • Proteome of representative lettuce accessions will be extracted at various time points of storage. The proteome will be characterized through liquid chromatography and mass spectrophotometry. The acquired proteomic profile, together with the outcomes from metabolomic and genomic studies, will be subjected to neural network-based algorithm to elucidate the biochemical mechanism of lettuce browning. Potential biomarkers will be screened for predicting browning potential for unknown lettuce cultivars. • Novel natural enzyme inhibitors, antimicrobial agents, shelf-life enhancers, and treatments will be explored to improve the shelf-life, sensory properties and health benefits of lettuce. The potential application of these compounds and treatments on other fresh vegetables and fruits will be explored.