Immature or 'baby-leaf' products such as baby spinach are extremely perishable, having a high rate of respiration and little resistance to water loss. Harvesting should occur when the crop is fully hydrated, cool and dry.
Minimising damage during harvest, and cooling as soon as possible afterwards, will help retain quality. Hydrocooling, hydro-vacuum cooling and forced air systems are all suitable cooling methods.
Storage life varies among varieties and with growing conditions. For example, crops grown under cool conditions store better than those grown in hot weather.
Sanitisers are essential both for food safety and to minimise rots. Baby spinach is very sensitive to ethylene exposure, which increases yellowing and disease, but produces little ethylene itself.