054 A New Fresh Market Spinach

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  • Departments of 1Horticulture and2 Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701; 3Texas Agriculture and Extension Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

The current national trends in nutrition have resulted in a very high interest in the benefits of proper diet. It is very apparent that adding foods high in antioxidants to the human diet can have drastic affects on human health by reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, as well as age-related degenerative diseases. It is well-known and well-documented that spinach is one of the very best vegetables in antioxidant potential. It is high in beta-carotene (provitamin A) and is also very high in lutein (a carotenoid that is a strong antioxidant but with no vitamin A activity). Lutein has also been documented to have the potential to significantly reduce macular degeneration in humans when added to the diet on a regular basis. With these health benefits in mind the Univ. of Arkansas is releasing the spinach breeding line that has been tested as 88-310. It is a slow-growing semi-savoy that exhibits excellent color and has a moderate level of white rust resistance. It has excellent plant type, producing a very attractive compact rosette plant that is very desirable for root cut whole plants or for various types of clipped spinach. It is best-suited to both fall and overwinter production in Arkansas and for winter production in the Texas wintergarden. Seed for tests can be obtained by contacting T.E. Morelock, Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

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