Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is an annual, cool-season, and green leafy vegetable that in temperate areas can be grown year-round (Conte et al., 2008; Rodríguez-Hidalgo et al., 2010). Koike et al. (2011) reported that spinach can grow most rapidly in winter at 5 to 18 °C, although it can also withstand low temperatures of –9 to –6 °C without severe injury. Thus, annual fluctuations in certain parameters such as radiation, temperature, rainfall, and other related environmental factors, as well as time of season, affect the growth and quality of spinach (Bergquist et al., 2005).
Spinach leaves have been reported to contain high contents of bioactive compounds such as antioxidants (Cao et al., 1996), total phenolics (Wu et al., 2004), flavonoids, and vitamin C (Gil et al., 1999). However, postharvest conditions influence the composition of these compounds. Postharvest products are living materials (Pandjaitan et al., 2005), and therefore, several processing procedures may induce a stress reaction and thereby affect the quality of the product (Hodges and Toivonen, 2008). Undesirable results that may be caused by the postharvest factors are linked to loss of flavor and texture tissue decay (Varoquaux and Wiley, 1994), and development of an “off” odor (Allende et al., 2004), depending on the intensity of stress-induced postharvest factors.
Different seasons may influence differently the quality and shelf life of produce. However, relatively little has been published on the influence of season on the growth and quality of baby spinach postharvest (Bergquist et al., 2005, 2006; Howard et al., 2002). Therefore, the current investigation was conducted to evaluate the influence of different seasons on the growth productivity and postharvest quality of baby spinach leaves.
Allende, A., Luo, L., McEvoy, J.L., Artés, F. & Wang, C.Y. 2004 Microbial and quality changes in minimally processed baby spinach leaves stored under super atmospheric oxygen and modified atmosphere conditions Postharvest Biol. Technol. 33 51 59
Bassioni, N., Allam, N. & Abaido, Y. 1980 Effect of nitrogen fertilization and season of growth on nitrate content of spinach plants (Spinacia oleracea L.) Z. Pflanzenernährung Bodenkunde. 143 652 658
Bergquist, S.A.M., Gertsson, U.E., Knuthsen, P. & Olsson, M.E. 2005 Flavonoids in baby spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.): Changes during plant growth and storage J. Agr. Food Chem. 53 9459 9464
Bergquist, S.A.M., Gertsson, U.E. & Olsson, M.E. 2006 Influence growth stage and postharvest storage on ascorbic acid and carotenoid content and visual quality of baby spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) J. Sci. Food Agr. 86 346 355
Conte, A., Conversa, G., Scrocco, C., Brescia, I., Laverse, J., Elia, A. & Del Nobile, M.A. 2008 Influence of growing periods on the quality of baby spinach leaves at harvest and during storage as minimally processed produce Postharvest Biol. Technol. 50 190 196
Gil, M.I., Hernández, S., Conesa, M.A. & Artés, F. 1999 Keeping quality in minimally processed tomato slices by chemical treatments Acta Hort. 4 274 279
Hall, M.K.D., Jobling, J.J. & Rogers, G.S. 2013 Influence of storage temperature on the seasonal shelf life of perennial wall rocket and annual garden rocket Intl. J. Veg. Sci. 19 83 95
Hodges, D.M. & Toivonen, P.M. 2008 Quality of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as affected by exposure to abiotic stress Postharvest Biol. Technol. 48 155 162
Howard, L.R., Pandjaitan, N., Morelock, T. & Gil, M.I. 2002 Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of spinach as affected by genetics and growing season J. Agr. Food Chem. 50 5891 5896
Kitabayashi, H., Ujihara, A., Hirose, T. & Minami, M. 1995 Varietal differences and heritability for rutin content in common buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum Moench Japan. J. Breeding. 45 75 79
Koike, S.T., Cahn, M., Cantwell, M., Fennimore, S., LeStrange, M., Natwick, E., Smith, R.F. & Takele, E. 2011 Spinach production in California. University of California Agr. Nat. Resources. Publ. 7212
Lee, S.K. & Kader, A.A. 2000 Preharvest and postharvest factors influencing vitamin C content of horticultural crops Postharvest Biol. Technol. 20 207 220
Mudau, A.R., Nkomo, M., Soundy, P., Araya, H.T., Ngezimana, W. & Mudau, F.N. 2015 Influence of post-harvest storage temperature and duration on quality of baby spinach HortTechnology 25 665 670
Nemadodzi, L.E. 2014 Growth and development of baby spinach (Spinacia oleraceae L.) in response to mineral nutrition. University of South Africa, MS Diss
Pandjaitan, N., Howard, L.R., Morelock, T. & Gil, M.I. 2005 Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of spinach as affected by genetics and maturation J. Agr. Food Chem. 53 8618 8623
Rodríguez-Hidalgo, S., Artés-Hernández, F., Gómez, P.A., Fernández, J.A. & Artés, F. 2010 Quality of fresh-cut baby spinach grown under a floating trays system as affected by nitrogen fertilisation and innovative packaging treatments J. Sci. Food Agr. 90 1089 1097
van der Walt, A.M., Loots, D.T., Ibrahim, M.I.M. & . Bezuidenhout, C. C 2009 Minerals, trace elements and antioxidant phytochemicals in wild African dark-green leafy vegetables (morogo) S. Afr. J. Sci. 105 11 12
Varoquaux, P. & Wiley, R.C. 1994 Biological and biochemical changes in minimally processed refrigerated fruits and vegetables, p. 226–268. In: R.C. Wiley (ed.). Minimally processed refrigerated fruits and vegetables. Springer, Boston, MA
Wu, X., Gu, L., Holden, J., Haytowitz, D.B., Gebhardt, S.E., Beecher, G. & Prior, R.L. 2004 Development of a database for total antioxidant capacity in foods: A preliminary study J. Food Compos. Anal. 17 407 422
Yoo, K.M., Lee, C.H., Lee, H., Moon, B. & Lee, C.Y. 2008 Relative antioxidant and cytoprotective activities of common herbs Food Chem. 106 929 936