Red discoloration of fresh-cut leafy vegetables

joost snels 90

Project leader: Joost Snels, MSc
Time frame: 2014 – 2016
Project code: RE003

Research theme: Sustainable Food Systems
Projectlogin (project members only)



The shelf life of fresh-cut leafy vegetables is limited to about 6 days. This short shelf life causes spoilage and loss of earnings. Quality determining factors are fast red and brown discoloration of the cut surfaces, followed by loss of freshness and degradation of the vegetables. Both of these phenomena are caused by independent processes. Red and brown discoloration of cut surfaces are caused by aging processes. In order to prevent these early discoloration reactions, the processed product is packaged under low oxygen levels to avoid oxidation reactions.

The goal of this project is to develop new technologies to suppress the fast red and brown discoloration. Once these have been suppressed, the product can be packaged under less extreme conditions to prevent the formation of by-products which are toxic for the plant cells. The first tests will be carried out on laboratory scale. The most promising treatments will then be tested for pilot and industrial scale.


Recent publications

Scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals 2014 An MILP approximation for ordering perishable products with non-stationary demand and service level constraints View summary
Invited lectures
2015 Measures for reducing chilled-food waste at the retail outlet  
Invited lectures 2015 Organic acids produced by lactic acid bacteria (Leuconostoc sp.) are related to sensorial quality decrease inmodified atmosphere packed fresh-cut iceberg lettuce  
Scientific publications 2015 KeCo: Kernel-Based Online Co-agreement Algorithm