Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Good Breeding Increases Shelf Life Of Lettuce And Related Produce

Date:
July 17, 2008
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
The lettuce cut and packaged for food service and salad mixes is an increasingly important component of the produce industry. Lettuce is highly perishable, and the cutting required in processing further shortens its shelf life. Packaging cut lettuce and other fresh produce in semipermeable plastic films extends shelf life via a technique called "modified-atmosphere packaging". Romaine and "crisphead" (such as iceberg) are the most widely produced for salad-cut products.

Salinas iceberg lettuce.
Credit: Photo by Scott Bauer

The lettuce cut and packaged for food service and salad mixes is an increasingly important component of the produce industry. Lettuce is highly perishable, and the cutting required in processing further shortens its shelf life.

Packaging cut lettuce and other fresh produce in semipermeable plastic films extends shelf life via a technique called "modified-atmosphere packaging". The success of modified-atmosphere (MA) packaging for lettuce and certain salad greens has led to innovative products, marketing strategies, and enhanced sales to consumers.

Increased demand for the convenient, pre-cut salads and lettuce has led to scientists to search for ways to select lettuce cultivars that stay fresh, colorful, and crisp. Shelf life and visual quality of salad-cut lettuce are affected by many things, including production environment, vegetative maturity, and type of lettuce chosen. Although an increasing variety of lettuce types are being grown, romaine and "crisphead" (such as iceberg) are the most widely produced for salad-cut products

Ryan J. Hayes, a research geneticist, and Yong-Biao Liu, research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, published the results of a study that should give lettuce breeders and producers enhanced product information and a market edge. During the two-year study, lettuce was processed from field-grown plants of 33 romaine and three "crisphead" cultivars. Shelf life of each cultivar was evaluated after storage in modified-atmosphere bags and in CO2-free controlled-atmosphere chambers.

Lettuce cultivars 'Clemente', 'Darkland', and 'Green Forest' performed consistently well, ranking in the top 10 in every experiment. 'Alpi', 'Dark Green Romaine', and 'Queen of Hearts' showed clearly unstable shelf life. Hayes noted, "cultivars that performed well in our MA environments will likely be useful as parents in breeding programs to develop new romaine cultivars with an acceptable shelf life. It is also clear that not all crisphead cultivars have good shelf life. Wide variation was observed between the crisphead cultivars Pacific, Salinas 88, and La Brillante."

In concluding the impact of the study outcomes, Hayes stated; "Breeders can use these methods to characterize or identify breeding lines that are suitable for salad-cut markets before release, and to select for increased shelf life within breeding populations. These practices should facilitate a consistent release of germplasm with high quality in MA environments."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hayes, Ryan J., Liu, Yong-Biao. Genetic Variation for Shelf-life of Salad-cut Lettuce in Modified-atmosphere Environments. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., 2008 133: 228-233 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Good Breeding Increases Shelf Life Of Lettuce And Related Produce." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717144448.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2008, July 17). Good Breeding Increases Shelf Life Of Lettuce And Related Produce. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717144448.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Good Breeding Increases Shelf Life Of Lettuce And Related Produce." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717144448.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins