Irradiating salad leaves after washing reduces harmful and non-harmful microorganisms.
Now, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and colleagues have looked into the effect of various levels of irradiation on concentrations of four vitamins and four carotenoids in two popular baby-leaf spinach cultivars.
The study was conducted by post-harvest plant physiologist Gene Lester and entomologist Guy Hallman at the ARS Crop Quality and Fruit Insects Research Unit in Weslaco, Texas. Lester is now with the ARS Food Quality Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.
For the study, two spinach cultivars were grown, harvested, sanitized, and packaged according to industry practices. Each cultivar was packaged in air or nitrogen gas as used by industry to extend shelf life.
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