Nitric oxide prevents wound-induced browning and delays senescence through inhibition of hydrogen peroxide accumulation in fresh-cut lettuce

E.T. Iakimova, E.J. Woltering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As a source of bioactive ingredients, lettuce is a preferable component of a healthy diet. In recent years the production of fresh-cut produce has become a fast growing business. However, the shreds are highly sensitive to wound-induced browning and premature senescence that substantially reduces the visual and sensory qualities and shortens the shelf life. To improve the fresh-cut quality, in this work, short pre-storage exposure of shreds from butterhead and iceberg lettuce to nitric oxide (NO) gas was applied. It was found that fumigation with 100 and 200 ppm NO for 1 or 2 h remarkably inhibited the browning of the cut surface and of other injured leaf areas; NO treatment delayed the senescence and substantially prolonged the shelf life upon storage at 4 °C and 12 °C. To obtain information on the physiological processes involved in the wound response, the generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the occurrence of cell death were analyzed. The results revealed that the wounding stimulated the accumulation of H2O2 thus generating oxidative stress leading to cell death. A correlation between elevated H2O2 levels, cut surface browning, senescence and storability of the fresh-cuts was established. In comparison to mature leaves, younger leaves expressed a lesser susceptibility to wound-induced browning and the associated oxidative stress. Applied NO strongly inhibited the H2O2 accumulation which may explain its beneficial effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-169
JournalInnovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • programmed cell-death
  • short-term exposure
  • lactuca-sativa l.
  • disease resistance response
  • processed romaine lettuce
  • ammonia-lyase activity
  • phenolic metabolism
  • iceberg lettuce
  • shelf-life
  • postharvest senescence

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