Freshly harvested heads of `Cruiser' or `Paragon' broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Italica group) were heat treated by holding in water for 1 to 40 min at 42, 45, 48, 50, or 52C. Control heads were held in air at 20C or in 25C water for 40 min. Controls turned yellow in about 3 days at 20C. Treatments at 42C delayed yellowing by 1 or 2 days, while treatments of 45, 48, 50, and 52C prevented yellowing up to 7 days at 20C. Hot water treatments had no effect on water loss of broccoli during storage. Incidence of decay was greater in treated broccoli stored wet compared to the dry control. However, when free water was removed by spinning following treatment, no difference in decay was observed. Treatment of broccoli at 52C for 3 or more min sometimes induced a distinct off-odor. When broccoli was held at 0C for 3 weeks following treatment no differences were observed between control and treated broccoli. However, when broccoli was warmed to 20C following storage at 0C, yellowing of treated broccoli was inhibited. Hot water treatments also delayed senescence at 20C when broccoli was treated following 3 weeks of storage at 0C.
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