Effect of Saline-Nutrient Solution on Yield, Quality, and Shelf-Life of Sea Fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.) Plants

Journal ar
  • Volumen: 8
  • Número: 2
  • Fecha: 01 February 2022
  • ISSN: 23117524
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.3390/horticulturae8020127
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: MDPI
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.In this study, the effect of salinity (150 mM NaCl) compared to a control (9 mM NaCl) on growth, quality and shelf-life of fresh-cut sea fennel was evaluated. For that, sea fennel plants were cultivated in a hydroponic floating system and the sea fennel leaves were stored for 12 days at 5¿C. At harvest, leaves from plants grown in salinity had a lower content of NO3¿, K+ and Ca2+ and an increased Cl¿ and Na+ concentration when compared to the control. There was a positive effect in the aerial part with increased fresh weight due to salt stress, but a reduction in the root biomass. During storage, weight loss and colour changes were not significant while leaves¿ firmness was higher for control and increased during storage, probably due to lignification. Microbial growth (psychrophiles, yeast and moulds and enterobacteria) was higher at harvest for control and increased during storage, with no differences between treatments after 12 days at 5¿C. Sensory quality was similar for both treatments but leaves from NaCl treatment had a salty taste that was easily detected by panelists. These results show that saline-nutrient solution applied in hydroponics is a suitable system for sea fennel growth. It gives a slightly salty but high-quality product, acceptable as a ¿ready-to-eat¿ vegetable.

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