African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Quality of low temperature heat-shocked green asparagus spears during short-term storage

Kai Ying Chiu1 and Jih Min Sung2*
1Department of Post-Modern Agriculture, Mingdao University, Peetow, Changhwa County, 523, Taiwan. 2Department of Food Science and Technology, Hung Kuang University, 34 Chung-Chie Rd, Sha Lu, Taichung City, 43302, Taiwan.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 July 2013
  •  Published: 26 July 2013


The present study evaluated the effects of heat-shock treatment (washing in 48°C distilled water for 5 min) on quality of green asparagus spears stored at 25 or 4°C for 7 days. The results showed that the quality characteristics including toughness, lignin and cellulose contents, and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase and peroxidase activities were increasing in both heat-shocked and control spears stored at 25°C; however, the heat-shocked spears exhibited lower degrees of increases than control spears. Similar increasing trends but with even smaller magnitudes in these characteristics were obtained from the heat-shocked spears stored at 4°C. Heat-shocked spears stored at 25 or 4°C also demonstrated lesser proliferations of total mesophilic aerobes, Escherichia coli and mold than their respective controls. Thus, a combination of 48°C heat-shock treatment and 4°C cold storage can be used to conserve the quality of stored green asparagus spears.


Key words: Green asparagus, heat-shock, lignification, microbial load, storage.