Technology Allowing Baby Spinach Leaves to Acquire Freezing Tolerance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study focuses on improving the freezing tolerance of spinach leaves when applying vacuum impregnation (VI) and pulsed electric fields (PEF) as pre-treatments. Changing the cultivation conditions of the spinach plants was tested for improved freezing tolerance of the harvested leaves. Spinach plants were initially cultivated at 20 °C for 5 weeks and harvested at the beginning of week 6 before the cultivation conditions were changed to 5 °C. After exposing the plants to cold stress, leaves were harvested on day 1, 8, and 20. The leaves from different cultivation temperatures were treated with VI with 30% (w/v) trehalose solution and PEF prior freezing at − 22 °C in a blast freezer. After freezing and thawing, the viability of harvested spinach leaves was 50% for the plants cultivated at 20 °C for 5 weeks. When the cultivation conditions were changed, the viability of the harvested leaves increased to 82% on day 1, 89% on day 8, and without a significant further increase on day 20. During cold cultivation, sucrose accumulated in the leaves, which might have contributed to the increased survival. The influence of impregnating the accumulated sugars instead of changing the cultivation conditions on the survival of the leaves was tested. The viability of the leaves was 75%, which was higher than the survival of the control (50%). The results indicate that it is possible to increase leaf survival after freezing and thawing by applying VI and PEF in combination with either by changing the cultivation conditions of spinach plants or by externally impregnating additional sugars to the harvested leaves.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Optifreeze AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Food Engineering

Keywords

  • Cultivation conditions, Freezing, Freezing tolerance, Pulsed electric field, Spinach, Vacuum impregnation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-817
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Volume11
Issue number4
Early online date2018 Jan 13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes