Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Market Lighting Affects Nutrients

Scientists at the ARS Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, are focusing on ways to keep packaged fresh-cut lettuce and leafy greens safe. Photo by Keith Weller.
by Rosalie Marion Bliss
Washington DC (SPX) May 04, 2011
Many people reach toward the back of the fresh-produce shelf to find the freshest salad greens with the latest expiration dates. But a study led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists may prompt consumers to instead look for packages that receive the greatest exposure to light--usually those found closest to the front.

The study was led by postharvest plant physiologist Gene Lester while at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Crop Quality and Fruit Insects Research Unit in Weslaco, Texas. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Lester and colleagues Donald Makus and Mark Hodges found that spinach leaves exposed to continuous light during storage were, overall, more nutritionally dense than leaves exposed to continuous dark. Lester now works at the ARS Food Quality Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.

For the study, the researchers exposed spinach leaves to light similar to the 24-hour artificial fluorescent light received by spinach in packages located at the front of the display case. A second group was enclosed in two-layer-thick, brown-grocery-bag paper to represent the "dark treatment."

Both experimental groups were housed in market-type, light-transmissible polymer tubs with snap-tight lids and were kept in walk-in storage chambers at 4 degrees Celsius, the same temperature at which markets currently display packaged spinach. The light reaction of photosynthesis is not temperature-dependent and can occur at 4 degrees C in the right type of light.

The researchers found that the continuous light affected the leaves' photosynthetic system-resulting in a significant increase in levels of carotenoids and vitamins C, E, K, and B9, or folate.

While the simulated retail light conditions actually helped the stored leaves gain in content of several human-healthy vitamins, some wilting occurred after three days of storage in flat-leaf spinach, but not crinkled-leaf types.

Results from this work were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Study urges different grazing practices
New York (UPI) May 3, 2011
Rotational grazing of cattle on Brazil's native pasturelands could have benefits for both cattle and wildlife, U.S. researchers say. A study conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society says grazing cattle in small areas for shorter periods before moving onto other pastures results in a greater forage base and larger, more valuable cattle. The practice also reduces incentives for defo ... read more

Internet satellite images available to all

Satellites Reveal Tornado Tracks in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama

NASA Mission Seeks to Uncover a Rainfall Mystery

Satellite tracking of sea turtles reveals potential threat posed by manmade chemicals

Russia, Sweden to boost space cooperation

GPS Operational Control Segment Enters Service With USAF

Apple denies tracking iPhones, to fix 'bugs'

GPS IIF Satellite Delivered to Cape Canaveral

First rainforests arose when plants solved plumbing problem

Indonesia, EU sign pact on sustainable timber

Planting trees could help koalas

Era of canopy crane ending

Formidable fungal force counters biofuel plant pathogens

Interjet and Airbus Conduct First Biofuel Flight in the Country

BioJet and Abundant Biofuels Agree to Merge

Food vs fuel: the debate is over

Constellation Energy To Acquire 30 MW Solar Installation in Sacramento

Solar power, with a side of hot running water

Rice University parlays sun's saving grace into autoclave

SunBorne and Suntech Partner for 100MW of Solar Projects in India

Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict

Study: Warming won't lessen wind energy

Mortenson Construction to Build its 100th Wind Project

Germany opens offshore wind farm

Eight trapped in flooded China mine: state media

Wyoming to expand coal mining

China mine explosion kills 11, two missing

Wyoming coal leases to be auctioned

China Hilton shareholder gets life for organised crime

China rejects US group report on religious freedom

China frees rights lawyer but another disappears

Top Tibetan monk denies Chinese 'spy' tag

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement