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Suitability of borago officinalis for minimal processing as fresh-cut produce


Borage (Borago offcinalis L.) is a wild vegetable appreciated as a folk medicine and for culinary preparations. The introduction of borage as a specialized cultivation would allow for the diversification of vegetable crops and would widen the offerings of raw and minimally processed leafy vegetables. Thus, the aim of the research was to evaluate the quality and shelf-life of fresh-cut borage stored at different temperatures. Borage plants were grown during the autumn-winter season and immediately minimally processed after harvest. Fresh-cut borage leaves packed in sealed bags were stored at 2 or 6 °C for 21 d. Weight loss, total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), ascorbic acid, nitrates, leaf color characteristics and overall quality were determined through the storage period. Borage plants were deemed suitable for minimal processing. Storage temperature significantly influenced the rate of quality loss. Borage leaves had an initial nitrate content of 329.3 mg kg-1 FW that was not affected by temperature or storage. TSS and TA were higher in leaves stored at 6 °C. TSS, TA and ascorbic acid content increased during storage. Minimally processed borage leaves stored at 2 °C had lower weight loss and leaf color modifications during storage and a longer shelf life than those stored at 6 °C, so were still marketable after 21 d of storage.