Exploration of preharvest technologies in controlled environment production to improve the postharvest chilling tolerance of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)
Sweet basil is a leafy, flavourful and fragrant herb commonly used many types of cooking. It has not only nutrient values but also many health benefits. Basil likes warm growing environment; therefore, it is commonly produced in greenhouses in Canada. To keep leafy vegetables fresh, right after harvesting majority of them are normally stored and transported at about 4 ºC. However, basil can quickly become black and not sellable when kept at that temperature. To store and transport basil separately is logistically difficult and costly. Therefore, it would help both the growers and consumers if basil can be kept at low temperature. This project is to explore preharvest technologies in controlled environment plant production systems to improve basil’s postharvest chilling tolerance in order for it to be stored and transported under the same conditions as other fresh produces. This will not only benefit producers, but also will provide Canadian consumers with locally produced fresh basil even in winter months.