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Open AccessArticle

Morphometric Characteristics, Polyphenols and Ascorbic Acid Variation in Brassica oleracea L. Novel Foods: Sprouts, Microgreens and Baby Leaves

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Università degli Studi di Catania, Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry, Technology and Biotechnology of Food, Faculty of Chemistry, Gdańsk University of Technology, 11/12 Narutowicza Str., 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
3
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-food Processing, Via G. Venezian 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060782
Received: 16 April 2020 / Revised: 23 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 31 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts, Microgreens and Edible Flowers as Novel Functional Foods)
In the present study, we investigated the content and profile of polyphenols (PPH), ascorbic acid (AA), the Folin–Ciocalteu index (FCI), and antioxidant activity (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and peroxyl radical (ROO)) variation during three different plant growth stages (sprouts, microgreens and baby leaves) of two broccoli types, the traditional Sicilian sprouting broccoli landrace (‘Broccolo Nero’) and the broccoli standard (‘Cavolo broccolo Ramoso Calabrese’), and the standard commercial cultivar of kale (‘Cavolo Lacinato Nero di Toscana’). All biomasses collected were freeze-dried for PPH, AA, FCI, DPPH and ROO analysis. The highest polyphenol content was observed for ‘Broccolo Nero’ (BN) and ‘Cavolo Broccolo Ramoso Calabrese’ (CR), and generally sprouts showed significantly higher values compared to the microgreens and the baby leaves. The AA, FCI, DDPH and ROO significantly vary with regards to the cultivar and the plant growth stage, showing interaction between the two experimental factors analyzed. The interaction detected showed higher values for the antioxidant traits of the proposed novel food, especially for the two broccoli cultivars in the sprout growth stage in comparison to the microgreens and baby leaves. Our results suggest that the antioxidant activity is partially dependent on kaempferol and apigenin. The PPH compounds showed the highest values of kaempferol and apigenin for ‘Broccolo nero’, whereas for the other two cultivars studied, only kaempferol was the main compound represented. The data acquired are of interest for increasing the healthy traits of the novel food proposed showing the contribution offered by the neglected LRs until now underutilized and at risk of extinction. The germplasm conserved in several world genebanks could support and diversify the organic vegetable items, providing us with added-value products for organic food supply chains. View Full-Text
Keywords: antioxidants; functional foods; plant growth stage; broccoli; kale; landraces antioxidants; functional foods; plant growth stage; broccoli; kale; landraces
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Di Bella, M.C.; Niklas, A.; Toscano, S.; Picchi, V.; Romano, D.; Lo Scalzo, R.; Branca, F. Morphometric Characteristics, Polyphenols and Ascorbic Acid Variation in Brassica oleracea L. Novel Foods: Sprouts, Microgreens and Baby Leaves. Agronomy 2020, 10, 782.

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