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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Clear packaging and light -- not so good for potatoes, but enhances nutrients in spinach

Potatoes turn green when exposed to light, even the artificial light in a supermarket produce department. Clear packaging is usually not the best choice for spuds. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry by Lester, Makus and Hodges (2010) shows just the opposite for spinach. Vitamins C, K, E, and folate increased significantly in spinach leaves stored in clear plastic containers for 3 days under continuous light and refrigeration simulating supermarket conditions, while those stored in continuous darkness showed declining or no change in levels of nutrients. After 9 days in the lighted storage, some vitamins levels had doubled, and all had higher levels of bioactive compounds.
Rick VanVranken