Modified atmosphere packaging and dark/light refrigerated storage in green leafy vegetables have impact on nutritional value
Esteban Terradillos, Raquel
Becerril Soto, José María
García Plazaola, José Ignacio
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Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 74(1) : 99-106 (2019)
The consumption of zeaxanthin (Z) through a vegetable-rich diet is recommended to reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Due to Z’s intrinsic dynamic character that results from its participation in the photoprotective xanthophyll cycle involving the carotenoids violaxanthin, antheraxanthin and zeaxanthin (VAZ), post-harvest handling practices and storage usually retain low amounts of this bioactive compound (compared to the rest of phytochemicals that are, in general, more stable). Thus, the aim of this work was to investigate in important consumed leafy vegetables the effects of different storage conditions on carotenoids (mainly Z) including i) packaging under three modified atmospheres (MAs), ii) light refrigerated supermarket storage and iii) dark refrigerated domestic storage. The results showed that an MA with low O2 and high CO2 enhanced the Z content under light. Moreover, both light and dark refrigerated storage showed dynamic and circadian pigment changes that enhanced the total VAZ pool. These results can contribute to generating practical recommendations for industries, supermarkets, and consumers when high Z content is a nutritional target.