Effect of heat treatment on internal atmosphere and leaf extension of minimally processed leek stalks


Correspondent: E-mail: siomos@agro.auth.gr


Leeks trimmed at 20 cm from their base were immersed in a 55 °C hot water bath. During the heat treatment (HT), the internal gases released from each stalk were collected, and their volume as well as CO2 and O2 concentrations were determined. After HT, cooling and storage at 10 °C for 8 days, the weight, maximum leaf extension and internal atmosphere (volume and gas composition) were measured. It was found that HT inhibited leaf extension during storage at 10 °C for 8 days and induced significant modification of the stalk internal atmosphere, both immediately after HT and after storage. Therefore, in heat-treated leek stalks, the growth zone of the innermost leaves was subjected to an environment of elevated CO2 concentration, which was accompanied by the inhibition of leaf extension growth.