Impact of postharvest UV-C and ozone treatment on textural properties of white asparagus (<em>Asparagus officinalis</em> L.)*


  • S. Huyskens-Keil
  • K. Hassenberg
  • W. B. Herppich


Optimization of postharvest treatments and storage requirements to reduce microbiological spoilage is essential for the food supply chain of asparagus. In this context, Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) treatments such as UV-irradiation and washing with ozonated water gain more and more importance. Information on UV-C and ozone as postharvest treatment for quality assurance of white asparagus is scanty. In the present study, asparagus spears were harvested and exposed to the above mentioned treatments and their combination. The infl uence of both postharvest treatments on biomechanical and biochemical textural related cell wall metabolism was investigated. UV-C-irradiation and washing with ozonated water resulted in a slight reduced respiration in white asparagus spears, but increase in spear tissue toughness. Total cell wall compounds were only tendentiously reduced after 4 days of shelf-life at 20 °C by application of aqueous ozone and UV-C. However, the dosages used in this experiment were relatively low and, hence, did not have pronounced effects. Furthermore, the possible mechanism of UV-C and ozone mediated changes in textural related enzyme activities of white asparagus spears have to be investigated in more detail.