Integrated Management of Crop Residues and Their Bioactive Properties in Agri-Food Production

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2024) | Viewed by 11695

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Interests: natural products; bioactive compounds; food chemistry; bio-based ingredients
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Interests: medicinal and local food plants; food processing; by-products valorization; extraction methods; bio-based ingredients; bioactivity of natural products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus Santa Apolonia, 300-253 Braganca, Portugal
Interests: bioactive compounds; food chemistry; phenolic compounds; chromatography; mass spectrometry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Billions of tons of crop are generated annually worldwide from food production. These are commonly left in the field after harvest to increase carbon retention in the soil, soil structure and nutrient availabilities, and soil microbial population size. Nevertheless, sustainable management of crop residues is of extreme importance since insufficient amounts on the soil surface can be detrimental to its quality, result in loss of organic matter, and increase erosion, while excessive amounts can impair soil–seed contact, immobilize nitrogen, and/or keep soils cool and wet, thus favoring disease and pests. Crop residue incineration or their use for bio-energy production or high value-added products development are other common ways of biomass conversion.

For this Special Issue, authors are encouraged to contribute with research and review articles covering current and innovative strategies for sustainable farming systems, improving soil quality and nutrition and its productivity. The issue will also consider research on the bioactive properties of this biomass applied to crop protection and food or food ingredients development.

Dr. Carla Pereira
Dr. José Pinela
Dr. Maria Ines Dias
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • crop residues
  • sustainable management
  • agricultural practices
  • soil/crop protection
  • bioactive compounds
  • product development

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 1449 KiB  
Article
Oliviculture and Viticulture Crop Byproducts Use for Peat Partial Substitution for Carnation Production
by Antonios Chrysargyris, Panayiota Xylia and Nikolaos Tzortzakis
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030605 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 510
Abstract
The intensive cultivation of olive trees and grapevines in the Mediterranean region not only results in large yields but also generate wastes, with high restrictions on their impact on people’s well-being and the environment. The current study sought to investigate the potential use [...] Read more.
The intensive cultivation of olive trees and grapevines in the Mediterranean region not only results in large yields but also generate wastes, with high restrictions on their impact on people’s well-being and the environment. The current study sought to investigate the potential use of olive-mill waste (OW), grape-mill waste (GW) and their mixtures (OW + GW) at different levels (0%, 5%, 10% and 20% v/v) for partial peat substitution in the production of carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) plants. The presence of OW, GW and OW + GW wastes raised the pH, the electrical conductivity, the content of organic matter and mineral content in substrate mixtures, while they decreased the total porosity and the available free air. The use of OW had more negative impacts than GW, while the OW + GW mixture alleviated, to some extent, the negative OW impacts. The use of high levels of residues decreased plant growth, chlorophyll content and mineral accumulation in plant tissue due to inappropriate growing media properties. The increased OW presence caused oxidative stress to the plants, as verified by the increased malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide content. This resulted in an upsurge in the total phenolics. However, GW presence did not impact any oxidative stress. It can be suggested that 10% OW, 10% GW or 20% OW + GW can be used in growing media, as they resulted in suitable plant growth. To ensure sufficient yields, nevertheless, the growing media’s characteristics also need to be enhanced. Full article
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12 pages, 1927 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Maceration of Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) Fruit Waste: An Optimization Study to Recover Anthocyanins
by María Carolina Cerino, José Pinela, Cristina Caleja, Clara Saux, Eliana Pereira and Lillian Barros
Agronomy 2023, 13(9), 2202; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13092202 - 23 Aug 2023
Viewed by 935
Abstract
Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) is a tropical fruit with a vibrant red color attributed to anthocyanins, natural pigments, with several applications in the food, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries. Therefore, the suitability of acerola fruit waste for producing anthocyanin colorants by dynamic maceration [...] Read more.
Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) is a tropical fruit with a vibrant red color attributed to anthocyanins, natural pigments, with several applications in the food, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries. Therefore, the suitability of acerola fruit waste for producing anthocyanin colorants by dynamic maceration was investigated. The extraction process was optimized by combining the factors time (2–90 min), temperature (20–90 °C), and ethanol percentage (0–100%) in a central composite rotatable design (CCRD) coupled with response surface methodology (RSM). The extraction yield determined by a gravimetric method and the levels of cyanidin-O-deoxyhexoside and pelargonidin-O-deoxyhexoside anthocyanins quantified in the 20 run extracts by HPLC-DAD were used as dependent variables. After fitting the experimental data to a quadratic equation, the obtained statistically valid predictive models were used to determine optimal macerating conditions. Under global settings (25 min processing at 41 °C with 12% ethanol), the extraction yielded 57.1% (w/w) and each gram of extract contained 2.54 mg of anthocyanins. Overall, this study highlights the renewable potential of acerola fruit waste for obtaining natural anthocyanin extracts that could represent a sustainable alternative to artificial colorants used in food and other products. Full article
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16 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
Use of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Residues for Partial Peat Substitution in Growing Media for Sonchus oleraceus Production
by Antonios Chrysargyris, Christos Goumenos and Nikolaos Tzortzakis
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041074 - 07 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
A substantial quantity of solid waste that is high in phenolics and biocomponents is produced during the industrial manufacturing of essential oils (EOs); this presents an important management challenge for the EO sector. This currently produces a significant amount of residue, causing issues [...] Read more.
A substantial quantity of solid waste that is high in phenolics and biocomponents is produced during the industrial manufacturing of essential oils (EOs); this presents an important management challenge for the EO sector. This currently produces a significant amount of residue, causing issues of disposal and management and the impact that the residues have on both the environment and human health. The present study evaluated the potential use of Origanum dubium Boiss. residues (ODR) and Sideritis cypria Post. residues (SCR) derived via distillation at different levels (0–5–10–20–40% v/v) for use in partial peat substitution in the production of Sonchus oleraceus L. (sowthistle) plants. Both ODR and SCR accelerated the pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter content, and mineral content of the growing media, but also negatively affected several of the physical characteristics of the media, such as the total porosity and aeration. This resulted in decreased plant growth, which was more noticeable at the high residue ratios. Plants responded to this by decreasing the leaf stomatal conductance, decreasing the chlorophyll content at 40% ODR and 20% SCR mixtures, and activating several non-enzymatic (phenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity) and enzymatic (superoxide dismutase) mechanisms to challenge the observed stress conditions, as indicated by lipid peroxidation and the hydrogen peroxide increase. Plants grown in residue media exhibited changes in mineral accumulation, even though both ODR and SCR were rich in minerals. It may be concluded that ODR and SCR, when employed at low levels of 10% and 20%, respectively, have the potential for use in the preparation of growing media as they may increase plant material antioxidants, but further improvement of the growing media’s properties is needed to ensure adequate yield. Full article
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10 pages, 934 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Sinapis alba Mustard Seed Meal Extract on Potato Tuber Quality in Organic Potato Production
by Daniel Temmen, John Randall and Inna Popova
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2782; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112782 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Utilizing innovative agricultural practices that enhance the nutritional quality of staple foods such as potatoes provides farmers with tools to successfully meet the challenges of feeding a rising global population while sustaining organic food production. In the present study, we have demonstrated the [...] Read more.
Utilizing innovative agricultural practices that enhance the nutritional quality of staple foods such as potatoes provides farmers with tools to successfully meet the challenges of feeding a rising global population while sustaining organic food production. In the present study, we have demonstrated the potential of white mustard (Sinapis alba) seed meal extract to improve potato nutritional properties. Sinapis alba extract is a low-cost by-product of mustard oil extraction that contains a relatively high concentration of biologically active compounds. When applied to soil, S. alba extract had a positive impact on nutritional quality of potatoes. For example, total phenolic content in potatoes treated with S. alba extract increased by ~1.5 times, and potato nitrogen content increased from 1.52% to 1.73% with one application of S. alba extract. At the same time, application of S. alba extract had limited impact on the accumulation of anti-nutrients such as glycoalkaloids in potato tubers. The ability to boost the phenolics content of potatoes by applying an organic amendment is a valuable tool in organic farming as it creates more nutritional crop. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effect of S. alba extract on the nutritional quality of potatoes, or indeed of any food crop. Full article
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13 pages, 12969 KiB  
Article
Effect of Harvesting Time on the Chemical Composition of Cynara cardunculus L. var. altilis Blades
by Filipa Mandim, Spyridon A. Petropoulos, Celestino Santos-Buelga, Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira and Lillian Barros
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071705 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1303
Abstract
In the present study, the fluctuations in fatty acids, tocopherols, organic acids, and free sugars content of cardoon blades collected at sixteen harvest dates (samples B1–B16, corresponding to principal growth stages (PGS) between 1 and 9) were evaluated. A total of 26 fatty [...] Read more.
In the present study, the fluctuations in fatty acids, tocopherols, organic acids, and free sugars content of cardoon blades collected at sixteen harvest dates (samples B1–B16, corresponding to principal growth stages (PGS) between 1 and 9) were evaluated. A total of 26 fatty acids were identified, with palmitic (C16:0, 19.9–40.13%), α-linolenic (C18:3n3, 6.39–33.2%), and linoleic (C18:2n6c, 9–34.8%) acids being present in higher relative abundances in most of the samples, while lipid content was the highest in samples of late (B15) and intermediate (B8–B10) stages of maturity. The α- and γ-tocopherols were the only detected vitamin E isoforms, while α-isoform presented the highest concentration (80–8567 µg/100 g dw) in all the studied samples, except for samples B9–B11, for which the γ-tocopherol was detected in higher concentrations. Moreover, samples B1 and B14 showed the highest content of total tocopherols (8352 and 10,197 µg/100 g dw, respectively). The identified organic acids were oxalic, quinic, malic, citric, and fumaric. Malic acid was present in higher concentrations in almost all the samples analyzed, except for samples B3 and B15, in which the presence of oxalic acid stood out. Regarding the free sugar’s composition, fructose, glucose, sucrose, trehalose, and raffinose were the only detected compounds, with sucrose being present in higher concentrations in almost all the samples (1.662–10.8 g/100 g dw), while samples at younger maturation stages, namely samples B4 and B5, presented the highest concentrations of total sugars. In conclusion, the obtained results demonstrate the influence that the growth cycle may have on the chemical composition of this tissue (blades) of the species. Moreover, having a more complete knowledge regarding its composition and identifying the stage of maturation which is most appropriate for obtaining a greater amount of certain bioactive compounds will help to increase the added value of this multi-purpose crop. Full article
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Review

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18 pages, 2228 KiB  
Review
An Overview on Traditional vs. Green Technology of Extraction Methods for Producing High Quality Walnut Oil
by Lubna Masoodi, Amir Gull, Farooq Ahmad Masoodi, Adil Gani, Jasia Nissar, Tehmeena Ahad, Gulzar Ahmad Nayik, Shaikh Ayaz Mukarram, Béla Kovács, József Prokisch, Hassan El-Ramady and Svein Øivind Solberg
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102258 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5355
Abstract
Walnut oil is extremely nutrient dense. It has plenty of oil and is high in fatty acids, which have positive biological properties and have a favorable impact on blood lipids and lipoproteins. Walnut oil is low in saturated fatty acids and high in [...] Read more.
Walnut oil is extremely nutrient dense. It has plenty of oil and is high in fatty acids, which have positive biological properties and have a favorable impact on blood lipids and lipoproteins. Walnut oil is low in saturated fatty acids and high in unsaturated fatty acids as well as being high in other vital nutrients. Walnut oil can be extracted using traditional as well as new and green technologies. It is low in saturated fatty acids and high in unsaturated fatty acids (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) as well as being high in other vital nutrients (e.g., selenium, phosphorus, and zinc). Walnut oil can be extracted using traditional as well as new and green technologies. The chosen extraction method has a significant impact on the lipids and other important components extracted. It is critical to select a suitable extraction process for the compounds of interest. In this study, different extraction methods are reviewed, demonstrating the significant benefits of new methods over previous approaches. New green technologies are ecologically benign and allow for shorter extraction times and yields that are comparable to those obtained using traditional methods. The new green technologies allow for higher-quality oils that are less vulnerable to oxidation processes than most of the old technologies. Full article
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