Research - Identifying the key agronomic factors and climatic conditions during crop growth that promote post-harvest discolouration in lettuce – towards a predictive model for lettuce pinking | Harper Adams University

Research

Identifying the key agronomic factors and climatic conditions during crop growth that promote post-harvest discolouration in lettuce – towards a predictive model for lettuce pinking

Abstract

This project aims to understand the factors leading to post-harvest discolouration in lettuce

Description

This research project is part of the work of the Fresh Produce Research Centre at Harper Adams University.

Following harvest some lettuce can produce pink colouring in the butt and ribs of the outer leaves.  This is termed Pinking and, in spite of the development of new varieties with claims of reduced pinking, continues to present substantial problems for producers with both UK and imported crops.  Poor product on the shelf reduces sales and leads to more complaints and consumer dissatisfaction. A recent review of research into lettuce pinking (FV 413) identified that issues such as high rainfall/over irrigation have a direct influence on expression of pinking. This project aims to establish the environmental conditions and timings that correlate with pinking in harvested heads of Iceberg and Cos lettuce.  Guidelines for identifying high-risk crops will be developed based on local meteorological and crop input records enabling growers to manage crops through the supply chain to the benefit of the customer.

Funding Body

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB Horticulture)

Lead Organisation

Harper Adams University

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