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Timothy K. Hartz, Paul R. Johnstone, Richard F. Smith, and Michael D. Cahn

Tipburn of romaine lettuce is a serious quality defect, which causes significant economic loss to lettuce growers in the Salinas Valley of California. This defect is particularly problematic for the producers of fresh-cut salad mixes because the

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Rahmatallah Gheshm and Rebecca Nelson Brown

Romaine lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ) is one of the most important fresh market vegetable crops in the United States. The annual lettuce consumption in 2017 was 24.5 lb per person, of which 45% (11 lb per person) were romaine and leaf lettuce. Ninety

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Yaguang Luo

the effect of water quality and the product-to-water ratio on the quality and microbial growth of packaged sliced Romaine lettuce. Materials and Methods Plant material. Romaine lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L.) was purchased from a produce

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T. Casey Barickman, Thomas E. Horgan, Jennifer R. Wheeler, and Carl E. Sams

income. Romaine type lettuce is the main lettuce grown by small to medium producers. Depending on plant spacing, the average yields of romaine lettuce can be around 30,000 kg·ha −1 ( Mossler and Dunn, 2005 ). Romaine type lettuce is a preferred leafy

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Thomas L. Thompson and Thomas A. Doerge

Two field experiments were conducted with subsurface trickle-irrigated romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Parris Island Cos) during the 1990–92 winter growing seasons in southern Arizona. The objectives were to determine 1) yield and quality response to varying combinations of soil water tension (SWT) and N fertilizer, 2) seasonal patterns of N uptake, and 3) unutilized fertilizer N. During 1990–91, N rates were 35, 120, and 205 kg·ha–1. During 1991–92, the experiment was factorial with N levels from 50 to 300 kg·ha–1 and target SWT levels of 7.0 and 4.0 kPa. Unutilized fertilizer N was the difference between fertilized and nonfertilized plots in total N inputs not harvested in the crop. When excessive irrigation was not applied (SWT between 6.5 and 7.4 kPa), 95% of the maximum crop yield and yield quality (head length and fresh mass) response occurred at N rates of 156 to 193 kg·ha–1, with unutilized fertilizer N <60 kg·ha–1. Excessive irrigation (4.6 kPa) resulted in lower yields and yield quality and higher unutilized fertilizer N. Romaine accumulated >74% of its total N uptake in the 38 days before harvest. Unutilized fertilizer N increased sharply when adequate N and water rates were exceeded. These results suggest that a target SWT of no wetter than 6.5 kPa is appropriate for subsurface trickle-irrigated romaine lettuce.

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Robert J. Dufault, Brian Ward, and Richard L. Hassell

The objective of this study was to determine the best combination of planting dates (PDs) and cultivars on yield and quality for long-term production of romaine lettuce. `Green Forest' (GF), `Apache' (AP), `Darkland' (DK), `Green Tower' (GT), `Ideal Cos' (IC), and `Tall Guzmaine' (TG) were successfully grown to harvest maturity on 19 PDs from September 1998 to April 2001. Lettuce planted in September and April PDs (pooled over cultivars and year), required as little as 47 and 49 days, respectively, to reach harvest (all cultivars harvested on the same day). Lettuce planted in October, November, February, and March PDs (pooled over cultivars and year), required on average 64, 66, 75, and 67 days to reach harvest, respectively, but in the coldest PDs of December and January, 90 and 98 days, respectively, were needed to reach maturity. Of the eight PDs evaluated, marketable numbers/plot (pooled over cultivars and years) were greatest in the September PD, followed by April (–8% decrease from September PD) > March (–13%) > October (–17%) > November (–21%) > December = January = February (about –30%) and heads weighed the most in September > January = February (–7% decrease from September PD) > March = April (–14%) > October (–21%) > December (–25%) > November (–31%). Cull heads/plot (pooled over cultivars and years) were greatest in April > December (–5% decrease from April PD) > January = February (–16%) > November (–27%) > October (–34%) > March (–44%) > September (–49%). Two out of three November PDs were lost to freezing damage and this PD should be avoided. Significant bolting occurred primarily in the September and October PDs (in 1 of 3 years) with negligible bolting in the November, December, and January PDs, but bolting recurred again in the February, March and April PDs. Marketable numbers/plot (pooled over all PDs and years) were greatest for GF > GT (–7% decrease from GF) > AP (–8%) > IC (–9%) > DK (–11%) > TG (–21%). The interaction effect of cultivar × PD indicated that GF yielded the most marketable heads in 6 out of 8 PDs. The best performing cultivars by PD (pooled over years) were September and February = GF and IC; October = TG; November = AP; December, January, March, and April = GF.

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Ji Gang Kim, Yaguang Luo, Robert A. Saftner, and Kenneth C. Gross

Fresh-cut tissues are subjected to severe injury during preparation that leads to increased respiratory activity and quality deterioration. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) has been used to maintain quality of fresh-cut produce, but O2 depletion and excessive CO2 accumulation can be injurious. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of delayed packaging and MAP using two different oxygen transmission rate (OTR) films on quality maintenance and shelf stability of fresh-cut romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Romaine lettuce leaves were cut, washed, dried, and placed for 0, 4, 8, and 12 hours at 5 °C in ambient air before packaging. Fresh-cut samples were placed into packages prepared from films having OTRs of 8.0 and 16.6 pmol·s-1·m-2·Pa-1, flushed with N2 to reach an initial headspace O2 level of 1.5 kPa O2, and stored at 5 °C for up to 14 days. Delayed packaging affected gas composition, fermentative volatile production, off-odor development, color, CO2 injury, and tissue electrolyte leakage. With increasing delay before packaging, fermentative volatile production, off-odor development, and CO2 injury progressively decreased and discoloration increased. The modified atmospheres obtained with 16.6 OTR film increased discoloration when present, and generally had less off-odor development and CO2 injury compared to MAP with 8.0 OTR film. Delayed packaging affected overall quality of fresh-cut romaine lettuce packaged with both films. A 12-hour delayed packaging into packages prepared from 8.0 OTR film maintained quality by inhibiting CO2 injury, off-odor development, and tissue electrolyte leakage. However, an 8-hour delayed packaging into packages prepared from 16.6 OTR film was better at maintaining the quality of fresh-cut romaine lettuce at 5 °C for 14 days. The results indicated that delayed packaging could be an alternative method to optimize or balance package O2 during suboptimal OTR film packaging conditions.

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Kevin I. Segall and Martin G. Scanlon

The first goal of this study was to determine the packaging film O2 permeability required to maintain a steady-state O2 concentration of 3% in modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) of minimally processed romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The second goal of the study was to determine the extent to which MAP could preserve lettuce quality and consequently extend product shelf life. Oxygen consumption rates of commercially prepared lettuce samples were determined in a closed system for each of three atmospheres (3% O2 combined with either 6%, 10%, or 14% CO2). Enzymatic, quadratic, and linear mathematical models were compared to determine which best described the respiratory data. The linear model was the most suitable and was used to predict the O2 consumption rate of the minimally processed romaine lettuce under the desired package headspace gas concentrations. The predicted O2 consumption rate was used to calculate the necessary O2 permeability for the packaging film. Packages (21.6 × 25.4 cm) were constructed from a polypropylene-polyethylene-laminate film with the appropriate O2 permeability. Packaged samples were stored under three modified atmospheres (MAs) (3% O2 combined with either 6%, 10%, or 14% CO2) for 20 days, and headspace gas concentrations, lettuce appearance, and color were evaluated every other day. Growth of pectinolytic and lactic acid bacteria was also studied. The O2 consumption rate of the lettuce decreased with increasing CO2 levels. The O2 levels in the MA packages equilibrated at 7% to 11%. Compared to a control atmosphere of air, MAP delayed the development of tissue discoloration. Preliminary results indicated no effect of MAP on microbial growth. Of the three CO2 levels, 10% was slightly more effective than 6% and 14%. Critical choice of packaging permeabilities combined with MAP maintained the quality of minimally processed romaine lettuce and thereby increased shelf life by about 50%.

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Qingquan Chu, Jiangang Liu, Khaled Bali, Kelly R. Thorp, Richard Smith, and Guangyao (Sam) Wang

). Table 2. Romaine lettuce leaf area obtained from analysis of overhead images before and after hand thinning. One day after hand thinning, lettuce plant biomass in the automated thinning treatment was not significantly different from plant biomass in the

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Ivan Simko, Ryan J. Hayes, Krishna V. Subbarao, and Rebecca Grube Sideman

revealed that ‘Darkland’ and ‘Green Towers’ are susceptible to LMV, whereas PI 491224 is either susceptible or segregates for reaction to the disease (E. Ryder, personal communication). Table 1. Resistance of romaine lettuce to biotic and abiotic