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Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2299; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23092299

Mediterranean Wild Edible Plants: Weeds or “New Functional Crops”?

1
Department of Agriculture, Food & Environment, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80-56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Interdepartmental Research Center Nutrafood-Nutraceuticals and Food for Health, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto, 80-56124 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Plant Compounds for Sustainable Health)
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Abstract

The Mediterranean basin is a biodiversity hotspot of wild edible species, and their therapeutic and culinary uses have long been documented. Owing to the growing demand for wild edible species, there are increasing concerns about the safety, standardization, quality, and availability of products derived from these species collected in the wild. An efficient cultivation method for the species having promising nutraceutical values is highly desirable. In this backdrop, a hydroponic system could be considered as a reproducible and efficient agronomic practice to maximize yield, and also to selectively stimulate the biosynthesis of targeted metabolites. The aim of this report is to review the phytochemical and toxic compounds of some potentially interesting Mediterranean wild edible species. Herein, after a deep analysis of the literature, information on the main bioactive compounds, and some possibly toxic molecules, from fifteen wild edible species have been compiled. The traditional recipes prepared with these species are also listed. In addition, preliminary data about the performance of some selected species are also reported. In particular, germination tests performed on six selected species revealed that there are differences among the species, but not with crop species. “Domestication” of wild species seems a promising approach for exploiting these “new functional foods”. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional food; hydroponic system; Mediterranean diet; oxalic acid; phytochemicals; toxic compound; wild species functional food; hydroponic system; Mediterranean diet; oxalic acid; phytochemicals; toxic compound; wild species
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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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Ceccanti, C.; Landi, M.; Benvenuti, S.; Pardossi, A.; Guidi, L. Mediterranean Wild Edible Plants: Weeds or “New Functional Crops”? Molecules 2018, 23, 2299.

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