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Bioelectrochemistry. 2016 Dec;112:153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bioelechem.2016.02.006. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Investigation of the metabolic consequences of impregnating spinach leaves with trehalose and applying a pulsed electric field.

Author information

1
Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE 221 00 Lund, Sweden. Electronic address: dymek.kasia@gmail.com.
2
Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE 221 00 Lund, Sweden.
3
BIOSYST-MeBioS, Catholic University Leuven, Willem de Croylaan 42, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.
4
Molecular Plant Physiology, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80088, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands; Biomolecular Analysis, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5
Biomolecular Analysis, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.
6
Molecular Plant Physiology, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80088, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.
7
Division of Building Materials, Department of Building and Environmental Technology, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, SE 221 00 Lund, Sweden.

Abstract

The impregnation of leafy vegetables with cryoprotectants using a combination of vacuum impregnation (VI) and pulsed electric fields (PEF) has been proposed by our research group as a method of improving their freezing tolerance and consequently their general quality after thawing. In this study, we have investigated the metabolic consequences of the combination of these unit operations on spinach. The vacuum impregnated spinach leaves showed a drastic decrease in the porosity of the extracellular space. However, at maximum weight gain, randomly located air pockets remained, which may account for oxygen-consuming pathways in the cells being active after VI. The metabolic activity of the impregnated leaves showed a drastic increase that was further enhanced by the application of PEF to the impregnated tissue. Impregnating the leaves with trehalose by VI led to a significant accumulation of trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P), however, this was not further enhanced by PEF. It is suggested that the accumulation of T6P in the leaves may increase metabolic activity, and increase tissue resistance to abiotic stress.

KEYWORDS:

Pulsed electric field; Spinach leaves; Vacuum impregnation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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