Studies on the preservation of flowers
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
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.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unportedhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
Except where otherwise noted within the work, this item's license for re-use is described as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.