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Shelf life of organic vegetables

{Project} Shelf life of organic vegetables. Runs 1998 - 2001. Project Leader(s): Unspecified, National Institute of Agricultural Botany .

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Choice of variety is more important when growing organic vegetables than when growing conventional crops since severe restrictions are placed on the treatments which organic growers can apply to maximise yield and maintain quality. In addition, shelf life can be affected by the low nutrient levels available under organic conditions as well as the slower growth and later maturity of organic produce. Organic produce may also have higher disease and pest loads which will affect crop value and shelf life. In this study, the shelf life of selected varieties of organically grown early carrots, broccoli, lettuce, novelty salads, parsnips and potatoes will be investigated under cool cabinet (20ºC, 50% relative humidity, 1200 lux lighting) and ambient (1ºC, 80% relative humidity, 1200 lux lighting) conditions. Measurements will be made on a daily basis until 10% weight loss has occurred or until material falls outside market specification in other quality characteristics. Several measurements will be performed on each sample as appropriate, taken from the following: skin appearance, weight loss, root quality, rotting, spear quality, head quality, sprouting, bulb quality, disease and pest levels, plant quality, root quality and colour, and greening. Root and tuber material will be washed prior to tests. In addition, storage potential of organic onions and potatoes will be examined under ambient conditions with frost protection and an absence of sprout suppressant. Results will be used to provide advice to organic growers, breeders and the retail sector as to selection of the most appropriate varieties which will allow cost effective production and presentation of high quality organic material.

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:variety shelf-life trials, vegetables, cultivars, knowledge transfer
Subjects: Food systems > Processing, packaging and transportation
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Research affiliation: UK > National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Project ID:OF0156
Start Date:1 June 1998
End Date:31 May 2001
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:7951
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:31

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