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Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060675

Microgreens Production with Low Potassium Content for Patients with Impaired Kidney Function

1
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
2
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Renal Function)
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Abstract

Chronic kidney disease represents a global problem together with other so-called ‘lifestyle-related diseases’. Unlike the healthy population, for the patients with impaired kidney function, it is of course prudent to recommend a restriction of high-potassium foods. Thus, it is suggested to limit the consumption of vegetables, because they generally contain high concentrations of potassium. At the same time, a lower consumption of vegetables reduces the intake of healthy compounds such as vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants, which also reduces the vegetables’ potential benefit in chronic kidney disease patients. Microgreens are an emerging class of specialty crop that represent a nutritious and refined food. In this study, for the first time, some chicory (local variety ‘Molfetta’ and cultivar ‘Italico a costa rossa’) and lettuce (cultivar ‘Bionda da taglio’) genotypes were grown using a hydroponic system with different potassium (K) levels (0, 29.1, 58.4, and 117 mg L−1) in order to produce microgreens with a low potassium content. The crop performances, cations content, proximate composition, and antioxidant activity were analyzed. Independent of the genotype, the K content in the microgreens was successfully reduced using a nutrient solution (NS), without K or with 29.1 mg K L−1, which supplied between 103 and 129 mg of K 100 g−1 FW (about 7.7–8.6% of the K daily intake that was recommended for the patients that were affected by chronic kidney disease). Whereas, 100 g of microgreens that were grown by using an NS with 58.4 or 117 mg K L−1 supply between 225 and 250 mg of K (about 15.8–16.5% of the K daily intake recommended for patients affected by chronic kidney disease). No differences were observed in terms of the shoot height, dry matter, proximate composition, and visual quality. A slightly lower yield was observed using an NS with a K concentration <58.4 mg L−1. These results suggest that by using an NS without K or with low K concentrations, it is possible to obtain a useful reduction of K in microgreens, without negatively affecting the quality. Unlike conventional vegetables, the microgreens that were produced in the present study could reduce the potassium intake in patients with impaired kidney function who were accustomed to eating vegetable-based dishes. View Full-Text
Keywords: antioxidant activity; Cichorium intybus L.; hydroponic system; Lactuca sativa L.; potassium intake; proximate composition antioxidant activity; Cichorium intybus L.; hydroponic system; Lactuca sativa L.; potassium intake; proximate composition
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Renna, M.; Castellino, M.; Leoni, B.; Paradiso, V.M.; Santamaria, P. Microgreens Production with Low Potassium Content for Patients with Impaired Kidney Function. Nutrients 2018, 10, 675.

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