They’re alive! Harvested fruits and veggies respond to light cycles, study saysPublication: NBC News Date: June 20, 2013 View Article
The fruits and vegetables lining grocery store shelves respond to light signals, according to a new finding that may have profound implications for how food is stored, when it is eaten and, ultimately, human health.
While biologists knew that certain cells in harvested crops keep living after they are picked from a tree, plucked from a vine, or pulled from the ground, the responsiveness of fruits and veggies to the daily cycle of light and dark is a surprise, said study co-author Janet Braam from Rice University.
“The idea that postharvest you could keep circadian rhythms going is new,” the cell biologist told NBC News. “And that it would have a consequence for the accumulation of certain types of metabolites, some of which may have relevance to human health” is also new.