Leafy vegetables are the major source of nitrite intake in the human diet, and technological processing to control nitrite levels in harvested vegetables is necessary. In the current work, the effect of electrolyzed oxidizing water (EOW) on the nitrite and nitrate levels in fresh spinach during storage was studied. EOW treatment, including slightly acidic electrolyzed water and acidic electrolyzed water, was found to effectively reduce nitrite levels in fresh spinach during storage; levels in the late period were 30 to 40% lower than that of the control. However, the nitrate levels in fresh spinach during storage were not influenced by EOW treatment. The reduction of nitrite levels in EOW-treated fresh spinach during storage can be attributed to the inactivation of nitrate reductase directly and to the reduction of bacterial populations. Our results suggest that treatment with slightly acidic electrolyzed water may be a better choice to control nitrite levels in fresh vegetables during storage. This study provided a useful method to reduce nitrite levels in fresh spinach.

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