With the development of improved postharvest technology, the shelf life of fruit and vegetables has increased dramatically in many parts of the world. Presently, dietary recommendations for these commodities are based on the bioavailability of essential nutrients at the time of optimum harvest. Few people, however, are fortunate enough to have available freshly harvested produce all year and, therefore, must consume fruit and vegetables that have been stored under the best conditions available. The question, then, is whether nutritional quality changes with storage method and length. Little is known concerning the effects of storage on nutrient content or bioavailability. Furthermore, if levels of these antioxidants do indeed change, perhaps dietary recommendations should reflect this as well. The data in this study indicate that there are significant changes in the levels of natural antioxidants in two apple cultivars at harvest and after an extended period in cold storage.
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