Colour is one of the most important quality attributes of broccoli. Yellowing due to senescence of broccoli florets is the main external quality problem. Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage is a very effective method to maintain broccoli quality. The aim of this paper is to characterise the colour behaviour (measured by RGB colour image analysis) of broccoli as affected by CA and temperature. Data on colour behaviour and gas exchange were gathered for broccoli heads stored in containers at three temperatures and subjected to four levels of O2 and three levels of CO2 concentrations. An integrated colour model is proposed that combines a colour model with a standard gas exchange model. The colour model is based on an existing colour model that describes the formation of (blue/green) chlorophyllide from the colourless precursor, the bidirectional conversion of chlorophyllide into (blue/green) chlorophyll and the decay of chlorophyllide. A multi-response approach was applied, accounting for 92% of the variance. Gas exchange parameters were estimated using the gas exchange model, the colour parameters were estimated using the colour model. Both models are linked via the reaction rate constant that describes the decay of chlorophyllide, as this reaction rate constant was found to be affected by the gas conditions. The integrated model might be applied to predict colour changes of MAP packaged broccoli as a low level of O2 and a high level of CO2 will only affect colour retention at higher temperatures.
- brassica-oleracea l.
- nadph-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase
- chlorophyll degrading enzymes
- var. italica heads
- postharvest senescence
- harvested broccoli
- keeping quality
- firmness change