Published 2021

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Publication details

Journal : Foods , vol. 10 , p. 1–23 , 2021

Publisher : MDPI

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 2304-8158
Electronic : 2304-8158

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Rangel-Huerta, Oscar Daniel; Ivanova, Lada; Uhlig, Silvio; Sivertsvik, Morten; Sone, Izumi; Noriega Fernández, Estefanía; Fæste, Christiane Kruse

Issue : 12

Research areas

Food processing technologies

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Kjetil Aune
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Fresh baby spinach leaves are popular in salads and are sold as chilled and plastic-packed products. They are of high nutritional value but very perishable due to microbial contamination and enzymatic browning resulting from leaf senescence. Therefore, innovative food processing methods such as plasma-activated water (PAW) treatment are being explored regarding their applicability for ensuring food safety. PAW’s impact on food quality and shelf-life extension has, however, not been investigated extensively in vegetables so far. In the present study, a comprehensive metabolomic analysis was performed to determine possible changes in the metabolite contents of spinach leaves stored in a refrigerated state for eight days. Liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry, followed by stringent biostatistics, was used to compare the metabolomes in control, tap-water-rinsed or PAW-rinsed samples. No significant differences were discernible between the treatment groups at the beginning or end of the storage period. The observed loss of nutrients and activation of catabolic pathways were characteristic of a transition into the senescent state. Nonetheless, the presence of several polyphenolic antioxidants and γ-linolenic acid in the PAW-treated leaves indicated a significant increase in stress resistance and health-promoting antioxidant capacity in the sample. Furthermore, the enhancement of carbohydrate-related metabolisms indicated a delay in the senescence development. These findings demonstrated the potential of PAW to benefit food quality and the shelf-life of fresh spinach leaves


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