Optimising cooling and packing processes is vital to retain broccoli freshness.

Broccoli absorbs 2-5 per cent weight during hydrocooling or hydro-vacuum cooling, which suggests that products added to the water – such as sanitisers, carbohydrates or other products – are also absorbed.

The final stage of a Hort Innovation-funded project Process improvements for preserving peak freshness of broccoli (Stage 2), undertaken by Applied Horticultural Research, tested the effects of adding sanitiser, a carbohydrate source, or an artificial plant cytokinin (a class of plant hormones) to water during cooling.

It also tested the effects of the fumigant ‘SmartFresh’ on broccoli storage and shelf life.

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