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|Title: ||Studies on the preservation of flowers|
|Authors: ||Elliott, Jennifer|
|Issue Date: ||2002|
|Abstract: ||A known method for the preservation of green foliage was adapted in
order to preserve floral tissues, retaining the colour and texture, thereby
providing a method suitable for the preservation of whole flowers.
Initially, the effects of the existing foliage preservation process on floral
tissues were studied and the resulting problems of limp sticky petals and
colour loss were identified. Subsequently, with a knowledge of basic
plant anatomy and of the properties of the main floral pigments, the
anthocyanins, a series of experiments on petals and whole flowers were
carried out in an attempt to rectify these problems and to incorporate the
remedies into a method for preserving whole flowers.
The problem of improving the texture and firmness of flower heads was
tackled by investigating the effects of adding bulking or setting
ingredients to the process fluid and establishing their optimum
concentrations. In the case of flower colour, the addition of acid was
required in order to maintain the bright anthocyanin colours and a range
of acids was investigated. Furthermore, since it is known that in nature
the anthocyanin pigments are stabilised by metal ions and copigments,
the use of these agents in the preservation process was also considered.
This empirical work was then validated by confirming the identity of the
main pigments involved and by studying various aspects of the new
preservation process. Factors examined included acid concentration,
temperature, solvent composition and the addition of metal ions and
copigments to solutions of petal extracts containing anthocyanin
pigments. Physical changes resulting from processing, including process
fluid content and the moisture absorption properties of processed petals
were also measured.
Finally, the application of a selection of coating materials was assessed
in an attempt to increase the life span of the processed flowers by
providing extra protection against environmental stresses.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Biology Theses|
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