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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Biostimulants on Annurca Fruit Quality and Potential Nutraceutical Compounds at Harvest and during Storage

1
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
2
Unesco Chair for Health Education and Sustainable Development, 80131 Naples, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(6), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060775
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 10 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 20 June 2020
The cultivar Annurca is an apple that is cultivated in southern Italy that undergoes a typical redding treatment and it is appreciated for organoleptic characteristics, high pulp firmness, and nutritional profile. In this study, the effects of three different biostimulants (Micro-algae (MA), Protein hydrolysate (PEP), and Macro-algae mixed with zinc and potassium (LG)), with foliar application, on the quality parameters of Annurca apple fruits at the harvest, after redding, and at +60 and +120 days of cold storage were analyzed: total soluble solids (TSS) content, total acidity (TA), pH, firmness flesh, and red coloration of epicarp. Additionally, the polyphenolic quali-quantitative profile of pulp and peel was analyzed by UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS and Folin-Ciocalteu and the antioxidant capacity with the methods 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric-reducing antioxidant capacity (FRAP). The results obtained suggest that biostimulants are involved in the regulation of the secondary metabolism of the treated plants, acting positively on the quality of the Annurca fruits and their nutritional value. Fruits treated with PEP have shown, during cold storage, a significantly higher content of total polyphenols in flesh and a higher concentration of phloretin xylo-glucoside and phloridzin (350.53 and 43.58 mg/kg dw respectively). MA treatment caused, at the same time, an enhancement of flavonols between 0.6–28% and showed the highest total polyphenol content in the peel after 60 and 120 days of cold storage, with 2696.048 and 2570.457 mg/kg dw, respectively. The long-term cold storage (120 days) satisfactorily maintained phenolic content of fruits deriving from MA and PEP application, in accordance with data that were obtained for peel, showed an increase of 7.8 and 5.8%, respectively, when compared to the fruits cold stored for 60 days. This study represents the first detailed research on the use of different types of biostimulants on the quality of the Annurca apple from harvest to storage. View Full-Text
Keywords: annurca; biostimulants; polyphenolic compounds; hydroxycinnamic acids; flavonols; procyanidins; antioxidant capacity annurca; biostimulants; polyphenolic compounds; hydroxycinnamic acids; flavonols; procyanidins; antioxidant capacity
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Graziani, G.; Ritieni, A.; Cirillo, A.; Cice, D.; Di Vaio, C. Effects of Biostimulants on Annurca Fruit Quality and Potential Nutraceutical Compounds at Harvest and during Storage. Plants 2020, 9, 775.

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