The major challenge in producing good quality lettuce in the semiarid region is the climatic factors such as high temperature, high luminosity and low air relative humidity, which affect the quality characteristics of leafy vegetables. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of lettuce cultivars of Crisphead (Angelina, Amelia and Taina), Mimosa (Mila, Mimosa and Lavinia), Green-leaf (Scarlet, Vera, Isabella and Vanda) and Loose-leaf (Elisa and Regiane) in four seasons: summer (12/21/2012), autumn (3/21/2013), winter (06/21/2013) and spring (09/23/2013) in the conditions of Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte state. The experimental design was a complete randomized block with four replications. The following characteristics were quantified: pH, titratable acidity, soluble solids (SS) and total soluble sugars. The quality of the lettuce was influenced by the cultivar and environmental conditions. Lower titratable acidity was recorded for Green-leaf and Loose-leaf groups in the summer and for Crisphead groups in the autumn. The highest content of soluble solids were achieved in autumn for cultivars Vera, Vanda, Isabela, Elisa and Regiane; to Lavinia, Angelina, Amelia and Tainá, and summer and autumn stood out from the other growing seasons for this trait. Cultivars Scarlet, Angelina and Amelia had higher levels of total soluble sugars in the summer; Mila and Lavinia in spring; Elisa and Regiane in winter and Tainá in spring.
Lactuca sativa L.; quality; climatic factors