High light intensity at End-Of-Production improves the nutritional value of basil but does not affect postharvest chilling tolerance

Dorthe H. Larsen, Hua Li, Arjen C. van de Peppel, Celine C.S. Nicole, Leo F.M. Marcelis, Ernst J. Woltering*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Basil suffers from chilling injury (CI) when stored at temperatures below 10–12 °C which seems related to the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants. We hypothesized that increased light intensity applied shortly before harvest (EOP, End-Of-Production) increases nutritional value i.e. carbohydrates and antioxidants and could improve the chilling tolerance. Two basil cultivars were grown in a vertical farming set-up at a light intensity of 150 µmol m−2 s−1. During the last 5 days of growth, EOP light treatments ranging from 50 to 600 µmol m−2 s−1 were applied. After harvest the leaves were stored at 4 or 12 °C in darkness. Higher EOP light intensity increased the antioxidant (total ascorbic acid, rosmarinic acid) and carbohydrate contents at harvest. During storage antioxidants decreased more rapidly at 4 than at 12 °C. However, increased EOP light intensity did not alleviate chilling symptoms suggesting a minor role of antioxidants studied against chilling stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130913
JournalFood Chemistry
Volume369
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Antioxidants
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)
  • Chilling injury
  • LED light
  • Postharvest
  • Vertical farming

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