Uniform electroporation of the heterogeneous structure of spinach leaf cross section is a technological challenge that is addressed in this investigation. Three dimensional models were created with cells arranged in specific tissue types, considering a leaf with its air fraction and a leaf where the air fraction was replaced by a solution of known properties using vacuum impregnation. The models were validated before electroporation, in the frequency domain, where alternating voltage and current signal at frequencies from 20 Hz to I MHz were used to measure conductivity of the tissue. They were also validated through measurements of current during electroporation when a single 250 mu s rectangular pulse with amplitudes ranging from 50 to 500 V was applied. Model validations show that both the frequency dependent conductivity and electroporation are well predicted. The importance of the wax layer and stomata in the model is thoroughly discussed. Industrial relevance: Our aim was to investigate electroporation of the spinach leaf by developing a model which would enable us to meet the technological challenge of achieving uniform electroporation in a highly heterogeneous structure in the context of a process aimed at improving freezing stability of plant foods. Pulsed electric field treatment may be used to introduce the cryoprotectant molecules into the cells, and hence improve the structure and properties of frozen food plants. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.