University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (Commodity)

I'm having trouble with my shredded Brussels Sprouts browning.

  • Brussels Sprouts

What are the ideal O2/CO2 percentages in MAP for shredded sprouts? I read the sprouts fact sheet which states 1-4 for oxygen and 5-10 for carbon dioxide. In our shelf life study, we are seeing CO2 reach 22% and O2 around 10. What are the impacts of high levels of CO2 on shredded sprouts?

Are certain varieties of sprouts more susceptible to browning post shredding than others?

Thanks for your help in advance! (A.M.)


There is very little recent information on brussels sprouts and I could not find data regarding respiration rates of the sliced sprouts.  For the related Brassica cabbage, slicing doubles the respiration rate.  While 20% CO2 is reported to cause damage to intact brussels sprouts, I am not aware of atmosphere research on the sliced sprouts.

Regarding different varieties and browning rates, again I am not aware of published information and we have not done such a study.  An easy way to assess this is by slicing and holding the product in perforated bags (air) at 5C and scoring for browning with time. 

Let me know if you would like us to make some respiration measurements or conduct some other testing for your brussels sprouts.  I think it would be worthwhile to reassess the modified atmospheres for the sliced sprouts, both for atmospheres that are beneficial as well as those tolerated by the sprouts since they are being incorporated into other vegetable mixes.

-Marita Cantwell

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