Assessment of different growing conditions for enhanced postharvest quality and shelf-life of leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativaL.)
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Lettuce is the most important leafy vegetable. It is exclusively used as freshly raw form but sometime also as cooked. However, its quality depends on several pre- and postharvest factors. The effects of growing conditions and cultivars on the postharvest quality of leaf lettuce were investigated. In this experiment the interaction of variable factor; like growing conditions and fixed factor; cultivars are also observed. The leaf lettuce cultivars ‘Cheongchima’, ‘Cheongchuckmyeon’, ‘Geockchima’ and ‘Geockchuckmyeon’ were grown under favourable (natural condition) and unfavorable growing condition (with excess soil water and 50% shading) to evaluate their shelf-life and postharvest qualities. Plant height and the number of leaves were significantly varied in different growing conditions and by cultivars. In addition, fresh weight was affected by only growing condition, whereas leaf thickness was influenced by cultivars, growing conditions and the cultivars influenced the degree of fresh weight loss and respiration rate during postharvest storage. However, the postharvest storage qualities differed with cultivars and in combination with growing conditions.Leaf thickness and quality of leaf lettuce before and after harvest were also varied by cultivars and growing conditions. It could be concluded that postharvest leaf lettuce quality remains acceptable when growing under excess soil water with 50% shading.