Special Issue "Sprouts and Microgreens: Phytochemicals, Health Benefits and Safety"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dunja Šamec
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Technology, University North, Trg dr. Žarka Dolinara 1, 48000 Koprivnica, Croatia
Interests: plant specialized metabolites; natural products in plant based food; metabolomics; climate changes impact on plant-based food production
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumption of vegetables and herbs in the juvenile stage has become widely popular in the last couple of years. This is because they are easy to grow, provide a unique taste and present an economical way to get fresh vegetables on a daily basis. In general, we can recognize sprouts that grow for 2–7 days, and microgreens which are characterized by their first true leaves that occur within 7–21 days after sowing.

This Special Issue will focus on the latest findings related to vegetables and herbs sprout and microgreen phytochemicals, health benefits and safety. It will include papers dealing with new findings about the presence of growing and genetic, as well as environmental, factors, which may influence the level of health-promoting compounds. The use of modern omics tools will be highly appreciated. Papers on in vitro and in vivo biological activity and the potential health benefits of extracts or compounds isolated from sprouts or microgreens are also welcome, as well as papers dealing with their safety for human consumption. This Special Issue will include original research articles, reviews, and short communications.

Dr. Dunja Šamec
Guest Editor

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. Foods 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 2000 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

  • vegetables
  • sprouts
  • microgreens
  • phytochemicals
  • biological activity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Preharvest Nutrient Deprivation Reconfigures Nitrate, Mineral, and Phytochemical Content of Microgreens
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061333 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
While imparting gastronomic novelty and sensory delight, microgreens also constitute rudimentary leafy greens packed with nutrients and phytochemicals. As such, they comprise an upcoming class of functional foods. However, apart from bioactive secondary metabolites, microgreens also accumulate antinutritive agents such as nitrate, especially [...] Read more.
While imparting gastronomic novelty and sensory delight, microgreens also constitute rudimentary leafy greens packed with nutrients and phytochemicals. As such, they comprise an upcoming class of functional foods. However, apart from bioactive secondary metabolites, microgreens also accumulate antinutritive agents such as nitrate, especially under conducive protected cultivation conditions. The current work examined nutrient deprivation before harvest (DBH), applied by replacing nutrient solution with osmotic water for six and twelve days, as a strategy for reducing microgreen nitrate levels in different species (lettuce, mustard, and rocket). The three species were sown on a peat-based substrate, cultivated in a controlled climate chamber, and harvested 18 days after sowing, when the first two true leaves emerged. DBH impact on major constituents of the secondary metabolome, mineral content, colorimetric, and yield traits was appraised. Nitrate and mineral content were determined through ion chromatography, phenolic composition through UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS, and carotenoid composition through HPLC-DAD. Nutrient deprivation was effective in reducing nitrate content; however, effective treatment duration differed between species and decline was more precipitous in nitrate hyperaccumulating species such as rocket. Quercetin and kaempferol glycosides were the flavonol glycosides most abundant in brassicaceous microgreens, whereas lettuce microgreens were steeped in caffeoyl quinic acid. DBH interacted with species as it increased the total phenolic content of lettuce, decreased that of rocket, but did not affect mustard. Further research to link changes in phenolic composition to the sensory and in vivo bioactive profile of microgreens is warranted. Notably, brief (≤6 days) DBH can be applied across species with moderate or no impact on the phenolic, carotenoid, and mineral composition of microgreens. Brief DBH applications also have limited impact on microgreens’ yield and colorimetric traits hence on the commercial value of the product. They can therefore be applied for reducing microgreen nitrate levels without significantly impacting key secondary metabolic constituents and their potential bioactive role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts and Microgreens: Phytochemicals, Health Benefits and Safety)
Article
Ontogenetic Variation in the Mineral, Phytochemical and Yield Attributes of Brassicaceous Microgreens
Foods 2021, 10(5), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10051032 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 300
Abstract
Microgreens constitute novel gastronomic ingredients that combine visual, kinesthetic and bioactive qualities. The definition of the optimal developmental stage for harvesting microgreens remains fluid. Their superior phytochemical content against mature leaves underpins the current hypothesis of significant changes in compositional profile during the [...] Read more.
Microgreens constitute novel gastronomic ingredients that combine visual, kinesthetic and bioactive qualities. The definition of the optimal developmental stage for harvesting microgreens remains fluid. Their superior phytochemical content against mature leaves underpins the current hypothesis of significant changes in compositional profile during the brief interval of ontogeny from the appearance of the first (S1) to the second true leaf (S2). Microgreens of four brassicaceous genotypes (Komatsuna, Mibuna, Mizuna and Pak Choi) grown under controlled conditions and harvested at S1 and S2 were appraised for fresh and dry yield traits. They were further analyzed for macro- and micromineral content using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), carotenoid content using high-performance liquid chromatography with a diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD), volatile organic compounds using solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS), anthocyanins and polyphenols using liquid chromatography-high resolution-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with Orbitrap technology and for chlorophyll and ascorbate concentrations, well as antioxidant capacity by spectrophotometry. Analysis of compositional profiles revealed genotype as the principal source of variation for all constituents. The response of mineral and phytochemical composition and of antioxidant capacity to the growth stage was limited and largely genotype-dependent. It is, therefore, questionable whether delaying harvest from S1 to S2 would significantly improve the bioactive value of microgreens while the cost-benefit analysis for this decision must be genotype-specific. Finally, the lower-yielding genotypes (Mizuna and Pak Choi) registered higher relative increase in fresh yield between S1 and S2, compared to the faster-growing and higher-yielding genotypes. Although the optimal harvest stage for specific genotypes must be determined considering the increase in yield against reduction in crop turnover, harvesting at S2 seems advisable for the lower-yielding genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sprouts and Microgreens: Phytochemicals, Health Benefits and Safety)
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