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Two globe artichoke cultivars (Violet de Provence and Apollo) were harvested at an experimental field in Sicily, immediately washed with ozonised water and stored in: i) normal atmosphere; ii) ozone-enriched atmosphere for 3 days and for the last 4 days in normal atmosphere; iii) ozone-enriched atmosphere for 7 days. A control (samples unwashed and stored at room temperature) was also investigated. The effect of cultivar x ozone treatment interaction on water content losses, total polyphenols content and antioxidant activity was evaluated after 0, 3 and 7 days of storage. Washing with ozonised water and storage under O3- enriched atmosphere allowed higher water retention compared with the control, especially for Violet de Provence. After 3 days of storage in ozone-enriched atmosphere, on average of cultivars, the total polyphenols content and antioxidant activity increased by 11.7% and 5.5%, respectively. By contrast, after further 4 days of storage in ozonised atmosphere, Apollo and Violet de Provence displayed a significant reduction in their level of total polyphenols and aantioxidant activity. The exposure of globe artichoke heads to an ozone-enriched atmosphere should not exceed 3 days aimed at preserving their high nutritional value, with special emphasis on total polyphenols content.
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