Int. J. Biosci.3( 5), 25-34, May 2013
Leafy vegetables have become an important part of the diet because of their nutritive value and low calorie content. But leafy vegetables are very perishable and susceptible to postharvest damage and spoilage which limit the storage period and quality of them. Irradiation is being used in the preservation of leafy vegetables. The effects of irradiation (0.5 and 1.0 kGy) on sensory, biochemical, physiological attributes of spinach were investigated during 12 days of post-irradiation storage at 12°C ± 60% RH. Spinach treated with 1.0 kGy showed acceptability in color, flavor, texture and overall acceptability till 12 days during storage period whereas at the same period, control and 0.5 kGy treated samples were spoiled. Reduced rate of weight loss was observed in irradiated samples compare to control over the whole storage period. A minor decrease in the ascorbic acid content was the only adverse effect observed in irradiated spinach compare to control sample and no other major changes occurred in TSS, pH value of treated and untreated sample of spinach. Radiation processing of spinach at 1.0 kGy extends the shelf life without affecting sensory and nutritional qualities. Thus, radiation can be used for the shelf -life extension of leafy vegetables and is not harmful to health.
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