Special Issue "Sprouts, Microgreens and Edible Flowers as Novel Functional Foods"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Youssef Rouphael
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples, Federico II, Portici, Italy
Interests: greenhouse crops; vegetables production; hydroponics and aquaponics; plant nutrition; microgreens; sprouts; edible flowers; functional foods, grafting; microbial and non-microbial biostimulants; biofortification; vegetable quality related to preharvest factors; LED; urban agriculture; organic farming
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Colla
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
Interests: microgreens; sprouts; functional food; crop production; plant nutrition; fertilizers; organic farming; organic agriculture; nutrient management; biofertilizers; vegetable production; fruit quality; fertigation; hydroponics; vegetable crops; biofortification
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Stefania De Pascale
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
Interests: physiology; hydroponics; plant nutrition; space farming; vertical farming; edible flowers; microgreens; specialty crops; sprouts; functional quality; postharvest; biofortification
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Attention in functional and nutraceutical novel foods has been on the rise, compelled by the increased interest of scientists, food nutritionists, growers, and especially consumers for diets that support longevity and health combined with gastronomic delight. Sprouts and especially microgreens are two classes of specialty, novel crops produced from the seeds of vegetables, cereals, herbs, and wild species. Both sprouts and microgreens can be consumed raw, and they are characterized by their fortified phytonutrient content, particularly amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, macro- and micro-minerals, as well as vitamins. The nutritional and functional quality, the shelf-life, as well as the microbial safety of these two specialty crops are modulated in several ways preharvest (species, plant nutrition, biofortification, substrate, temperature, light quality, and quantity) and postharvest (light exposure, storage temperature, atmospheric composition, and packaging technology). This Special Issue invites original research papers, opinions, and perspectives (but not review articles) dissecting the main preharvest and postharvest factors implicated in the modulation of nutritional and functional quality of sprouts and microgreens. The analytical aspects of submitted works must be of high standard (e.g., HPLC/GC/mass spectrometry orbitrap), while works covering mainly physical and spectrophotometric assessments will not be considered.

Prof. Youssef Rouphael
Prof. Giuseppe Colla
Prof. Stefania De Pascale
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • HPLC-DAD
  • orbitrap
  • microgreens
  • sprouts
  • functional foods
  • light
  • biofortification
  • shelf-life
  • packaging
  • antioxidant activity
  • phenolic compounds
  • genotypic variation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Sensory Attributes and Consumer Acceptability of 12 Microgreens Species
Agronomy 2020, 10(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10071043 - 19 Jul 2020
Abstract
Microgreens are gaining increasing recognition among consumers, acclaimed for their freshness and health promoting properties associated with densely fortified secondary metabolites. These immature greens enhance human diet and enrich it with sharp colors and flavors. While numerous species are being tested for agronomic [...] Read more.
Microgreens are gaining increasing recognition among consumers, acclaimed for their freshness and health promoting properties associated with densely fortified secondary metabolites. These immature greens enhance human diet and enrich it with sharp colors and flavors. While numerous species are being tested for agronomic and nutritional suitability, consumer acceptance of appearance, texture, and flavor is critical for the microgreens’ marketplace success. This study investigates whether sensory attributes and visual appearance affect consumer preference for microgreens and their willingness to consume them. By means of a consumer test, the sensory attributes of 12 microgreens species were evaluated, wherein a partial least squares structural equation model was developed to link sensorial attributes to willingness to eat the product. The results showed that although visual appearance of the microgreens was largely appreciated, consumer acceptance overall was mainly determined by flavor and texture. In particular, the lower the astringency, sourness, and bitterness, the higher the consumer acceptability of microgreens. Among the 12 examined species, mibuna and cress scored the lowest acceptance by consumers, while Swiss chard and coriander were the most appreciated, being therefore good candidates to be introduced in Western country markets. In addition, both Swiss chard and coriander have been identified by previous literature as good dietary source of phenolic antioxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts, Microgreens and Edible Flowers as Novel Functional Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphometric Characteristics, Polyphenols and Ascorbic Acid Variation in Brassica oleracea L. Novel Foods: Sprouts, Microgreens and Baby Leaves
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060782 - 31 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts, Microgreens and Edible Flowers as Novel Functional Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Salinity Stress on Phenylpropanoid Genes Expression and Related Gene Expression in Wheat Sprout
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030390 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The effect of salinity (NaCl treatment) on the nutritive value of wheat sprouts was investigated by analyzing the expression of phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway genes and the levels of phenylpropanoid compounds. Treatment with various concentrations of NaCl (50, 100, and 200 mM) resulted in [...] Read more.
The effect of salinity (NaCl treatment) on the nutritive value of wheat sprouts was investigated by analyzing the expression of phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway genes and the levels of phenylpropanoid compounds. Treatment with various concentrations of NaCl (50, 100, and 200 mM) resulted in increased epicatechin levels but decreased accumulation of catechin hydrate, benzoic acid, and quercetin compounds in the sprouts compared with the control (0 mM). The trans-cinnamic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, ferulic acid, epicatechin, and total phenylpropanoid level in wheat sprout was the highest at 50 mM of NaCl treatment. Six-day-old wheat plantlets exposed to 50 mM NaCl for 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h, showed that the total phenylpropanoids accumulation was the highest at 48 h after the treatment and most of the treatments showed higher phenylpropanoid content than the control at the same time points. Although the shoot and root length and the fresh weight of wheat sprouts decreased with NaCl treatment, these results suggest that treatment of 50 mM NaCl improves the nutritional quality of wheat sprouts, due to increased phenylpropanoid concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts, Microgreens and Edible Flowers as Novel Functional Foods)
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