University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (General)

Can you help us with our fresh-cut lettuce?

Category
  • Fresh-cut Fruits & Vegetables
Question

We currently have problems with the shelf-life of our fresh-cut lettuces during handling, basically by oxidation on the stem, and also the leaves to a smaller degree.  This has caused high returns from the supermarkets. Can you recommend any product or treatment to improve this condition?

Answer

As with many postharvest issues, there is no one single solution.  In this case, lettuce variety selection, maturity at harvest, pre-process handing and cooling, processing line conditions (temperature, sanitation, and efficacy of drying, among others), adequate modified atmosphere packaging and temperature control all contribute to minimize browning on the cut edges during marketing. You should have detailed information about each of these practices so that you can implement a program of improvement.

                                                                   --Marita Cantwell

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