Special Issue "From Biofortification in Microelements of Grains to Food Products by Traditional and Innovative Methods"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maria Grazia Melilli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, National Council of Research, Via Empedocle, 58, 95128 Catania, Italy
Interests: biofortification; novel foods, antioxidants; prebiotics; Mediterranean crops

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofortification is the process used to increase the concentration of a nutrient in edible portions of plants through agronomic techniques, post-harvest processes (i.e., malting), and genetic selection by plant breeding. Some soils in the Mediterranean area are poor in some minerals, and so are the plants that grow in these soils. Low mineral concentrations are found in arid areas with high pH and low clay content, conditions which are quite prevalent in the Mediterranean area. An important part of the population suffers from dietary deficiency in essential micronutrients, i.e., iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se), and a novel challenge in agriculture is the production of biofortified grains to improve the nutrition status of the consumers, while allowing the producers to offer a more valuable product.

In the future, grain biofortification should consider innovative approaches from field agronomics techniques to post-harvest methods in order to obtain dense grains for developing novel foods with improved properties on human health, also taking into account the stability of the products during long-term storage and the bioavailability of the microelements of the fortified products.

Dr. Maria Grazia Melilli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Grains
  • Minerals
  • Processes
  • Malting
  • Agronomic techniques
  • Post-harvest stability
  • Novel foods
  • Bioaccessibility
  • Nutritional value

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Biofortification of Sweetcorn with Iodine: Interaction of Organic and Inorganic Forms of Iodine Combined with Vanadium
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091720 - 28 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Around the world, maize cultivation is an essential part of food systems for humans and animals. Effective reactions against the occurrence of diseases related to the deficiency of elements in the human diet are related to the biofortification of plant species of broad [...] Read more.
Around the world, maize cultivation is an essential part of food systems for humans and animals. Effective reactions against the occurrence of diseases related to the deficiency of elements in the human diet are related to the biofortification of plant species of broad importance, including maize. The enrichment of maize with iodine is difficult due to the poor transport of this element to the plant’s generative organs. In marine algae, vanadium is part of the structure of the enzyme iodine-dependent peroxidase (vHIPO) that catalyzes the uptake of cellular iodine (I) and its volatilization as I2. The relationship between iodine and vanadium in higher plants, however, is not well-known. The aim of this research was to determine the effect of vanadium fertilization and the interactions of organic and inorganic iodine compounds with vanadium under soil application. In the pot experiment, NH4VO3 was applied to the soil in two doses of 0.1 and 1 μmol·dm−3 both separately and in combination, with the following iodine compounds: 5-iodosalicylic acid (5-ISA), 2-iodobenzoic acid (2-IBeA), potassium iodide (KI), and potassium iodate (KIO3). The iodine compounds were also applied independently to vanadium, while in the control combination, fertilization was performed without I and V. Iodine compounds were applied with doses calculated using the molar mass of this element (i.e., 10 μmol·dm−3 I). The highest level of iodine accumulation in grains (regardless of fertilization with V) was obtained after the application of organic compounds 5ISA and 2IBeA. A lower dose of vanadium (0.1 μmol·dm−3) in combination with KI and KIO3 increased the accumulation of iodine in leaves, roots, and grains compared to the combination without the additional application of vanadium. The combined application of vanadium in both doses with 2-IBeA most effectively stimulated the transport and accumulation of iodine to the maize grain. Under the combined application of 5-ISA and vanadium (10 μmol·dm−3), we observed the stimulating effect of this organic iodine compound on the accumulation of vanadium in the roots as well as the antagonistic effect of vanadium in combination with 5-ISA on the accumulation of iodine in the roots, leaves, and maize grain. Vanadium accumulated mainly in the roots, where the content of this element increased proportionally to its dose. The soil application of 5-ISA increased the total sugar content and vitamin C content in the grain. Full article
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Article
Effect of Sowing Date on Bioactive Compounds and Grain Morphology of Three Pigmented Cereal Species
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030591 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 518
Abstract
Recently, the interest in improving the content of bioactive compounds for enhancing the nutritional value of cereal-based products has largely increased, and several strategies, both genetic and agronomic, were proposed. Here, we report the preliminary results of the effect of two sowing periods [...] Read more.
Recently, the interest in improving the content of bioactive compounds for enhancing the nutritional value of cereal-based products has largely increased, and several strategies, both genetic and agronomic, were proposed. Here, we report the preliminary results of the effect of two sowing periods (winter and spring) on the accumulation of bioactive compounds (i.e., anthocyanins, carotenoids, minerals) and grain morphology in three pigmented cereal species (barley, bread and durum wheat). The results showed that with delayed sowing time, a significant reduction in yield was observed in all species, less in barley (50.4%) than in wheat (70.3% and 66.5% for bread and durum, respectively). On the contrary, the carotenoids accumulation was favored (increased by 12.2%, 15.7% and 27.8% for barley, bread and durum wheat, respectively), as well as those of anthocyanins although strongly dependent on the genotype (i.e., considering only the purple genotypes, the anthocyanins increase by 4.6%, 35.4% and 72.8% in barley, bread and durum wheat, respectively). For minerals compounds, our study highlighted a strong environmental influence even when the pigmented genotypes accumulated more minerals than commercial ones, while the morphometric seed traits were less influenced by this agronomic practice. Therefore, by exploiting the genetic variability for the accumulation of anthocyanins and carotenoids in the grain and by optimizing the sowing time, it could be possible to increase the nutritional value of the final cereal-based products. Full article
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Article
Effect of Attractants and Micronutrient Biofortification on the Yield and Quality of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.) Seeds
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010152 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The aim of the research was to develop an innovative technique in the seed production of red clover. The research was carried out in 2013–2016, in Felin (51°22′ N, 22°65′ E), in a dependent arrangement (split-split-plot) in four replications. The first order factor [...] Read more.
The aim of the research was to develop an innovative technique in the seed production of red clover. The research was carried out in 2013–2016, in Felin (51°22′ N, 22°65′ E), in a dependent arrangement (split-split-plot) in four replications. The first order factor was the use of an attractant: (1) control object, with pure water spraying, (2) attractant used in the 60 BBCH phase, (3) attractant applied twice—in the 60 and 65 phase, in the BBCH scale. The factor of the second order was fertilization: (a) standard object with PK fertilization; (b) fertilization with microelements (B + Mo) against the background of constant PK fertilization. The use of attractant ‘Pollinus’ preparation in the cultivation of red clover, both once and twice, in the form of spraying on plants, contributed to an increase in the seed yield, number of heads, share of seeds in the head, thousand seeds weight, and seed germination capacity, compared to the control object. Elements of the red clover yield structure achieved more favorable values with foliar feeding (B + Mo) compared to the standard one. Under the influence of plant biofortification with boron and molybdenum, the number of seeds infected with fungal pathogens and abnormally germinating decreased. Full article
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