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Molecules 2017, 22(6), 933; doi:10.3390/molecules22060933

Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Institute of Ecosystem Study, CNR, via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
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Abstract

The ability of some crops to accumulate selenium (Se) is crucial for human nutrition and health. Selenium has been identified as a cofactor of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is a catalyzer in the reduction of peroxides that can damage cells and tissues, and can act as an antioxidant. Plants are the first link in the food chain, which ends with humans. Increasing the Se quantity in plant products, including leafy and fruity vegetables, and fruit crops, without exceeding the toxic threshold, is thus a good way to increase animal and human Se intake, with positive effects on long-term health. In many Se-enriched plants, most Se is in its major organic form. Given that this form is more available to humans and more efficient in increasing the selenium content than inorganic forms, the consumption of Se-enriched plants appears to be beneficial. An antioxidant effect of Se has been detected in Se-enriched vegetables and fruit crops due to an improved antioxidative status and to a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene, which is the hormone with a primary role in plant senescence and fruit ripening. This thus highlights the possible positive effect of Se in preserving a longer shelf-life and longer-lasting quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofortification; antioxidant; plant senescence; post-harvest biofortification; antioxidant; plant senescence; post-harvest
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Puccinelli, M.; Malorgio, F.; Pezzarossa, B. Selenium Enrichment of Horticultural Crops. Molecules 2017, 22, 933.

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