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Savoy cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. sabauda / Cruciferae (Brassicaceae)
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
In comparison with the rest of vegetables, it is possible to say that fresh Savoy cabbages are kept in good conditions for a long time. The vegetables compartment of the fridge is the best place to store them at home, wrapped in a perforated plastic bag. In these conditions they are kept for 2-3 weeks.

Pre-cooling is optional; it becomes important when the harvesting temperature is high. The most suitable method is humid air pre-cooling.

In Spain it is not frequent to store these vegetables, since there is fresh merchandise all the year round. The optimal conditions of storage are temperatures of 0ºC and high relative moisture, 95%. The storage time depends on the type of cabbage. The storage temperature for curled cabbages is -0,5ºC. Although these species tolerate freezing, this must be avoided.

The use of modified atmospheres with a concentration between 1 and 5% and carbon dioxide between 2 and 6% delays senescence. Modified atmospheres are used at commercial level in areas of severe winters where the produce must be stored for a long time.
Distribution
The temperature during distribution must be of 5 to 10ºC with average humidity and good ventilation. If the yellowish leaves are removed we will obtain a good presentation.
Postharvest Problems
Cabbages, among which Savoy cabbage is included, are the vegetables with longer post-harvest life, although the curly-leaf cabbages have a shorter conservation than those of even leaf. The straight-leaf cabbage turns out to be a leaf vegetable with very good conservation, even exceeding two months of storage.

The changes that take place once the produce is stored are loss of weight, yellowness of the leaves, the leaves’ abscission, hardening, heart’s lengthening, growth of the apical and axillary buds, the root’s growth, parasitic diseases, and physiological alterations.

The greater loss of weight in cabbages takes place during the first week of storage; the longer the period of storage and the lower the relative moisture of the atmosphere, the greater the total diminution is.

The loss of chlorophyll causes the yellowness of the leaves, which is a senescence symptom. This process is accelerated in atmospheres with high relative moisture and ethylene.

The presence of ethylene accelerates the loss of chlorophyll and leads to the leaves’ abscission. A concentration of 1ppm in the atmosphere the greater one is detected after two months.
The heart’s lengthening takes place towards the middle of the period of storage and it becomes noticeable towards the end of the storage period. This growth goes together with an increase of the respiratory activity; both phenomena indicate the end of the product’s self-life.

When the apical yolk begins its growth, it means the loss of the cabbage’s self-life. The behaviour of the axillary yolks also varies according to the aptitude of the cultivar for storage and the effect that the environmental conditions have on this characteristic.

The most common parasitic diseases that affect cabbages are those caused by Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria, Mycosphaerella brassicicola, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Rhizoctonia solani, Phytophtora porri, Fusarium, Pseudomonas sp. and Erwinia sp. Thus, Botrytis cinerea causes a grey rot, one of the chief pathogens in cabbage post-harvesting. Various species of Alternaria affect cabbages that already have some kind of problem or weakening, producing similar symptoms. The tissues affected show dark brown spots with a flexible texture. Mycosphaerella brassicicola generates annular spots as dark greyish-brown or black injuries where the tissues dry. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is another important post-harvest pathogen that generates a soft and watery rotting originating from infections in the field, along with the typical white mycellium. Other fungi causing alterations on the produce are Rhizoctonia solani, Phytophora porri, and Fusarium roseum. The bacterium Xanthomonas campestris causes a black rot. Carotovora Erwinia and Pseudomonas marginalis produce a soft rot, being the latter a humid and viscous rotting with an unpleasant bitter smell.

Concerning the physiological alterations, the most outstanding are "Tip burn" or "Scorch", causes rottings during the storage.
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