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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338313

Research Project: Evaluation and Maintenance of Flavor, Nutritional and Other Quality Attributes of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Title: Microgreen production, nutrition, safety, and shelf life: A review

item Turner, Ellen
item BUCHANAN, ROBERT - University Of Maryland
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2019
Publication Date: 3/6/2020
Citation: Turner, E.R., Buchanan, R., Luo, Y. 2020. Microgreen production, nutrition, safety, and shelf life: A review. Journal of Food Science. 85(4):870-882.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Microgreens have gained increasing popularity as food ingredients in recent years, because of their high nutritional value and diverse sensorial characteristics. Microgreens are edible seedlings including vegetables and herbs, which have been used, primarily in the restaurant industry, to embellish cuisine since 1996. The rapidly growing microgreen industry faces many challenges. Microgreens share many characteristics with sprouts, and while they have not yet been associated with any food borne illness outbreaks, steps can be taken during production to reduce the likelihood of such incidents. One major limitation to the growth of the microgreen industry is the rapid quality deterioration that occurs soon after harvest, which keeps prices high and restricts commerce to local sales. Greens that have been harvested easily dehydrate, wilt, and decay. Research has explored preharvest and postharvest interventions, such as calcium treatments, MAP, temperature control and light, to maintain quality and extend shelf-life. However, a great deal more work is needed to optimize both production and storage conditions to improve the safety, quality and shelf-life of microgreens, thereby expanding potential markets.