Special Issue "Bioactivity, Phytochemical and Nutritional Composition of Natural Products"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2022) | Viewed by 12708

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jelena Popović-Djordjević
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, Department for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Nemanjina 6, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: phytochemistry; structural characterization of natural products; analytical methods; biological activity of natural compounds; food chemistry; food quality and safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Luiz Fernando Cappa de Oliveira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Núcleo de Espectroscopia e Estrutura Molecular, Departamento de Química - ICEUniversidade Federal de Juiz de For a, Campus Universitario s/n - MartelosJuiz de Fora – MG 36033-620, Brazil
Interests: molecular spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy as analytical tool for detecting the most distinctive analytes; carrotenoids; natural products; supramolecular chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural products including medicinal plants, spices, fruits, vegetables and fungi contain a wide assortment of nutritional and health-promoting compounds. Recently, there has been a revival of interest in herbal medicines capable of diminishing the negative effects of various diseases. The significance of natural compounds acting as antioxidants and/or enzyme inhibitors draws increasingly more attention when the prevention and treatment of diseases, such as cancer, inflammatory, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, are discussed. Due to their detrimental effects on human health, some synthetic antioxidants have become a matter of safety concern for usage in the food industry, which has triggered an increased demand for natural antioxidants. When it comes to the application of natural products in the sphere of functional foods, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements, the high-quality ones are of great importance.

In last few decades, consumers’ attention has been more focused on the quality and safety of food. In this respect, demand for vegetables, fruits, and mushrooms grown in accordance with ecological principles, wild-growing plants and other natural products has increased. Nutritional value, sensor quality and food safety are the main aspects that should be discussed in relation to obtaining the maximum benefits from nature.

Various approaches have been developed for the extraction, identification and quantification of bioactive compounds from different sources, such as agricultural and horticultural crops or medicinal plants. Nuclear magnetic resonance of several different nucleus, chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, mass spectroscopy, vibrational (infrared and Raman) spectroscopy techniques, as well any other single or hyphenated techniques, are widely used for natural products analysis. These techniques are valuable tools for their elucidation of chemical structure, including both nutritional and bioactive compounds, and overall quality. Ever-increasing interest for high-quality food products associated with health beneficial effects highly encourages researchers to intensively study natural products.

In this issue, original research papers and reviews providing data that contribute to comprehensive knowledge about natural products with food or medicinal application are very welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jelena Popović-Djordjević
Prof. Dr. Luiz Fernando Cappa de Oliveira
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • naturally occurring compounds
  • fruits and vegetables
  • wild-growing plants
  • spices
  • medicinal plants
  • fungi
  • analytical methods
  • quality and safety
  • antioxidant properties
  • enzyme inhibitory activity

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Comparative Examination of Phytonutrients and Antioxidant Activity of Commonly Consumed Nuts and Seeds Grown in Vietnam
Horticulturae 2022, 8(6), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8060521 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to determine the phenolics, carotenoids, B-vitamins, and antioxidant activity of nuts and seeds grown in Vietnam. The concentrations of carotenoids and B-vitamins may vary among the nuts and seeds. Watermelon seed contained the highest level of [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to determine the phenolics, carotenoids, B-vitamins, and antioxidant activity of nuts and seeds grown in Vietnam. The concentrations of carotenoids and B-vitamins may vary among the nuts and seeds. Watermelon seed contained the highest level of lutein while pumpkin seed was the β-carotene richest sample. Sachi inchi and sunflower seed comprised considerable levels of vitamin B1, B6, and B9. The phenolic analysis revealed that cashew contained the highest total amount of flavonoids (466.04 μg/g), with catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2 predominating over the other flavonoids. Likewise, chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids made up the highest total amount of phenolic acids in sunflower seed (1870.41 μg/g). Walnut appeared to possess the highest antioxidant activity evaluated by DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, and reducing power assays. The correlation analysis indicated strong positive correlations between total phenolic content with DPPH and FRAP values. Principal component analysis graphically showed the distant positioning of cashew and sunflower seed, highlighting their significantly higher levels of phenolics. The findings of the study would be useful to improve nutrient database contents for flavonoids and phenolic acids as well as to promote the consumption of nut and seed products in Vietnam. Full article
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Article
Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic Composition, and Hormone Content of Wild Edible Vegetables
Horticulturae 2022, 8(5), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8050427 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Wild edible plants have been used since antiquity as folk medicine and as preservatives in foods. This study aimed to determine the antioxidant activities, phenolic compounds, and hormone contents of 12 species of edible wild plants belonging to 9 families, which are consumed [...] Read more.
Wild edible plants have been used since antiquity as folk medicine and as preservatives in foods. This study aimed to determine the antioxidant activities, phenolic compounds, and hormone contents of 12 species of edible wild plants belonging to 9 families, which are consumed as vegetables by the local people at Ergan Mountain in Erzincan in Turkey. Polygonum cognatum and Malva neglecta were determined to have more antioxidant enzyme activity, more phenolic compounds, and higher hormone content than the other species. The highest catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione-s-transferase (GST) values for P. cognatum were determined as 45.12, 94.83, 36.76, and 1218.35 EU g−1, respectively. The highest superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ascorbate peroxidase (AxPOD) content for M. neglecta were determined as 97.53 EU g−1 and 81.93 EU g−1, respectively. P. cognatum is the species in which the highest levels of the hormones indolacetic acid (IAA), gibberellic acid (GA), salicylic acid (SA), cytokinin, zeatin and jasmonic acid were detected. The highest levels of caftaric acid (CA), catechin (CAE), ferulic acid (FA), malvidin-3-o-glucoside (MG), myricetin (MYR), rutin (RT), trans-coumaric acid (TPCA), tyrosol (TY), and vanilic acid (VA) compounds were found in M. neglecta. It was determined that Falcaria vulgaris species had the highest levels of ferulic acid (FA) and quercetin (QUE) phenolics. The results show that edible wild vegetables consumed and studied by the people of the region are an important source of natural antioxidants. The possibilities of using these wild plants as functional foods should be investigated. Full article
Article
Phytochemicals, Proximate Composition, Mineral Analysis and In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Calligonum crinitum Boiss
Horticulturae 2022, 8(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8020156 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Medicinal herbs are potential sources of biomolecules and their analogues that have great relevance in the preparation of modern medicines. Calligonum crinitum, a perennial shrub growing in the United Arab Emirates, has been utilized in the study to validate the therapeutic properties [...] Read more.
Medicinal herbs are potential sources of biomolecules and their analogues that have great relevance in the preparation of modern medicines. Calligonum crinitum, a perennial shrub growing in the United Arab Emirates, has been utilized in the study to validate the therapeutic properties exploited in the traditional medicinal system of UAE. The phytochemical screening of the plant employing different solvents of methanolics and ethyl-acetates, expressed varied proportions of monosaccharides and carbohydrates along with tannins and saponins, which are high potency molecules for therapeutic applications. The presence of total phenol and flavonoid contents derived from methanolic extracts indicates antioxidant potentials and the defense mechanisms of the plant. Proximate and mineral nutrient analysis validates the significance of the extracts with a high amount of carbohydrates and proteins along with significantly high amounts of Zn, Fe, Mn, Ca, Mg and K involved in various metabolic reactions. Similarly, the ABTS radical scavenging activity varied significantly (p < 0.05) and ranged from 10 to 160 µg GAE/g in the methanolic extract. DPPH free radical scavenging activity exhibited a significantly high DPPH activity in methanolic extracts with free radical scavenging activity of 72%. Hydroxyl radicals scavenging activity was also found to be high in the Calligonum extracts along with SOD (49–83%, compared to the standard GAE 37–58%). Nitric oxide scavenging was also found to be high in the extracts, thereby decreasing the content of NO. Thus, our results confirm that the derived extracts have potential antioxidants, and this legitimizes their use in folkloric medicine. These results are highly significant as they can pave the way for future scientific validation of the traditional knowledge of this important medicinal plant. Full article
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Article
Profiling of Phenolic Compounds of Fruit Peels of Different Ecotype Bananas Derived from Domestic and Imported Cultivars with Different Maturity
Horticulturae 2022, 8(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8010070 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Banana is one of the most produced and consumed fruits in the world and its fruit peel accounts for about 40% of the total fresh quantity of ripe fruit, which is usually regarded as waste and poses serious environmental hazards. However, it is [...] Read more.
Banana is one of the most produced and consumed fruits in the world and its fruit peel accounts for about 40% of the total fresh quantity of ripe fruit, which is usually regarded as waste and poses serious environmental hazards. However, it is a promising source of natural bioactive compounds including phenolic compounds. Determination of the phenolic compounds in fruit peel from different cultivars and subgroups over a range of maturities provides convincing information for making full use of them. This study developed a sensitive and reliable analytical method—ultra-high performance liquid chromatography—coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) for measuring phenolic compounds in fruit peel from different ecotype cultivars and subgroups with different maturity. The results showed that quinic acid had the highest concentration ratio among the main phenolic compounds in the green/ripe peel of all banana cultivars; among all banana cultivars, the total phenolic compound contents of green banana peel were significantly higher than that of ripe banana peel; the total phenolic compound contents in the green/ripe fruit peel of non-dessert bananas were significantly higher than that of dessert bananas (green: non-dessert banana 1.48 ± 0.44 mg/g vs. dessert banana 0.97 ± 0.12 mg/g; ripe: non-dessert banana 0.26 ± 0.13 mg/g vs. dessert banana 0.19 ± 0.06 mg/g). These data provide a basis for the rational utilization of phenolic compound extractions from banana peel with huge biomass in the next step. Full article
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Article
Phenolics and Mineral Elements Composition in Underutilized Apple Varieties
Horticulturae 2022, 8(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8010040 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 481
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of this research is to study the importance of improving knowledge of old variety apples in terms of phytochemicals, antioxidant capacity and mineral elements. (2) Methods: Fifteen phenolic compounds (UHPLC-MS/MS techniques), eight mineral elements (Ca, K, Cu, Mn, Fe, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of this research is to study the importance of improving knowledge of old variety apples in terms of phytochemicals, antioxidant capacity and mineral elements. (2) Methods: Fifteen phenolic compounds (UHPLC-MS/MS techniques), eight mineral elements (Ca, K, Cu, Mn, Fe, Zn, Na and Mg), antioxidant capacity (DPPH%) and vitamin C content in four ancient apple varieties of Tuscany (‘Mora’, ‘Nesta’, ‘Panaia’ and ‘Ruggina’), with the ‘Golden Delicious’ cultivar as reference, were analyzed. (3) Results: Ancient cultivars exhibited a superior antioxidant capacity compared to commercial cultivars. ECTC and CGA were the polyphenols that mostly characterized the ancient apples. The contents of the elements of concern, Zn and Mn, were higher in the ancient cultivars ‘Panaia’ and ‘Ruggina’, while Na showed significant low concentration in ‘Nesta’, ‘Panaia’ and ‘Ruggina’ compared to ‘Golden Delicious’. The vitamin C content also indicated that ‘Mora’, ‘Panaia’ and ‘Ruggina’ old variety had an AsA content around 10 times higher than the ‘Golden Delicious’ apple. (4) Conclusions: Underutilized varieties could be an excellent source of bioactive phenolic phytochemicals, mineral nutrients and vitamins that may offer special nutraceutical benefits compared to other fruits. Full article
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Article
Biofertilizer Application Enhances Drought Stress Tolerance and Alters the Antioxidant Enzymes in Medicinal Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo convar. pepo var. Styriaca)
Horticulturae 2021, 7(12), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7120588 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
The effects of mycorrhiza, Thiobacillus and Nitroxin (Azotobacter and Azospirillum sp.) biofertilizers under drought stress conditions with four levels of field capacity (FC) (control(100%), 85%, 70%, and 50%) on the antioxidant enzyme activities of medicinal pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo convar. pepo var. [...] Read more.
The effects of mycorrhiza, Thiobacillus and Nitroxin (Azotobacter and Azospirillum sp.) biofertilizers under drought stress conditions with four levels of field capacity (FC) (control(100%), 85%, 70%, and 50%) on the antioxidant enzyme activities of medicinal pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo convar. pepo var. Styriaca) were evaluated during the years 2018–2019. Irrigation levels exhibited significant effects on all studied variables, except for the catalase (CAT) enzyme. A significant correlation was observed between the effects of irrigation levels and biofertilizers on antioxidant enzymes, soluble protein content, and grain yield. The highest activity of catalase and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) enzymes was achieved using mycorrhiza in 50% FC. Increasing drought intensity and mycorrhiza stimulated glutathione reductase (GR) and guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) activities by 32% and 66%, while Nitroxin increased them by 16% and 43%, respectively. Under severe drought stress conditions, only mycorrhiza exhibited a positive effect on GR and GPX enzymes. Under moderate and severe drought stress conditions, Nitroxin increased grain yield by 13% and 12.6%, respectively. The irrigation regimes and bio-fertilizers had a significant effect on β-sitosterol percentage. The highest amount was observed at the highest level of drought stress. Among the various bio-fertilizers treatments, the application of Thiobacillus yielded the highest percentage of β-sitosterol. The results of the present study demonstrate that the application of biofertilizers is beneficial in coping with drought stress. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Polyphenol Content of Red Raspberry Fruits during Ripening
Horticulturae 2021, 7(12), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7120569 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Berry fruits that contain large amounts of polyphenol compounds are expected to exhibit health and anti-aging effects due to the antioxidant activities of these components. Among the various polyphenols, flavan-3-ol derivatives are known to have a particularly high functionality. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Berry fruits that contain large amounts of polyphenol compounds are expected to exhibit health and anti-aging effects due to the antioxidant activities of these components. Among the various polyphenols, flavan-3-ol derivatives are known to have a particularly high functionality. In this study, the maturity of red raspberry fruits is classified into eight stages based on the polyphenol content at each stage. Quantification of the various compounds and investigation of the DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging activities were carried out. The total polyphenol content, including that of the flavan-3-ol derivatives, was the highest in immature fruits, gradually decreasing during fruit maturation, during which the radical scavenging activity also decreased. Based on our quantitative results, it was considered that the decrease in the flavan-3-ol derivative content due to fruit ripening was largely related to the increase in the amount of anthocyanin derivatives. Considering that the decreased contents of these compounds were related to the expression levels of polyphenol biosynthetic enzymes, quantification was performed using the semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, but the only change observed was the increased expression of the enzyme that synthesizes anthocyanins during maturation. Therefore, it was suggested that it is necessary to inhibit anthocyanin synthesis to increase the contents of highly functional flavan-3-ol derivatives in the mature fruit. Full article
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Article
Phytochemicals, Antioxidant and Antidiabetic Activities of Extracts from Miliusa velutina Flowers
Horticulturae 2021, 7(12), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7120555 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 752
Abstract
The flowers of M. velutina were extracted with ethanol to obtain a crude extract that was consecutively extracted using n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and water. The crude extract and fractions were studied for the chemical composition and antioxidant and antidiabetic activities. The extracts [...] Read more.
The flowers of M. velutina were extracted with ethanol to obtain a crude extract that was consecutively extracted using n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and water. The crude extract and fractions were studied for the chemical composition and antioxidant and antidiabetic activities. The extracts had various phytoconstituents, namely steroids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids and glycosides. The aqueous extract had the highest total polyphenol (12.6 mg GAE/g extract) and total flavonoid (205.6 mg QE/g extract) content. The aqueous extract exhibited the strongest antioxidant activities in the ferric reducing antioxidant power assay (EC50 = 4.0 µg/mL), reducing power assay (EC50 = 78.1 µg/mL), 2,2-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid radical cation assay (EC50 = 48.2 µg/mL), total antioxidant capacity assay (EC50 = 8.7 µg/mL) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay (EC50 = 9.3 µg/mL). The aqueous extract showed the strongest inhibitory effect on the activity of α-amylase (IC50 = 376.6 μg/mL) and α-glucosidase (IC50 = 69.7 μg/mL). The results showed that the aqueous extract of M. velutina flowers can be a promising candidate for the control of diabetes and oxidative stress. This is the first report about the chemical components and antioxidant and antidiabetic activities of M. velutina flower extracts. Full article
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Article
Antioxidant and Anti-Obesity Potentials of Korean-Native Wild Vegetables (Allium species)
Horticulturae 2021, 7(12), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7120541 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Four Korea-native wild vegetables belonging to the Allium genus (Allium tuberosum Rottl., Allium senescens L., Allium thunbergii G. Don., and Allium sacculiferum Maxim.) were investigated for their antioxidant and anti-obesity potential, in order to promote the utilization of wild edible plants for [...] Read more.
Four Korea-native wild vegetables belonging to the Allium genus (Allium tuberosum Rottl., Allium senescens L., Allium thunbergii G. Don., and Allium sacculiferum Maxim.) were investigated for their antioxidant and anti-obesity potential, in order to promote the utilization of wild edible plants for the development of potential new crops. In this study, we compared the antioxidant activity of the plant extracts by ABTS+ and DPPH scavenging method. We then compared the anti-adipogenic effects of the extracts in adipocytes. We quantified the phenolics in the extracts using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to identify the bioactive compounds. A. tuberosum and A. sacculiferum had a higher total phenolic content (19.0 ± 0.3 and 19.6 ± 0.7 mg GA/g extract, respectively) than A. senescens and A. thunbergii (16.0 ± 0.2 and 14.5 ± 0.7 mg GA/g extract). Caffeic acid, an antioxidant and anti-adipogenic compound, was detected in A. tuberosum and A. sacculiferum, but not in A. senescens and A. thunbergii. A. tuberosum, and A. sacculiferum showed superior antioxidative and anti-adipogenic activities compared to A. senescens and A. thunbergii. Therefore, A. tuberosum and A. sacculiferum, both of which contain antioxidant and anti-adipogenic phenolics, such as caffeic acid, present a therapeutic potential against obesity. Various phenolic compounds, which have been found to differ among Allium spp., may partially account for differences among the Allium spp. with respect to their antioxidant and anti-obesity effects. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Foliar Application of Magnetic Water and Nano-Fertilizers on Phytochemical and Yield Characteristics of Fennel
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110475 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
Environmental factors, especially nutrients, can influence the production of medicinal plants. Thus, the present study assessed the response of some morphological and physiological characteristics of fennel ecotypes to the foliar application (magnetic water, organic and chemical fertilizers). The study was a factorial experiment [...] Read more.
Environmental factors, especially nutrients, can influence the production of medicinal plants. Thus, the present study assessed the response of some morphological and physiological characteristics of fennel ecotypes to the foliar application (magnetic water, organic and chemical fertilizers). The study was a factorial experiment based on the randomized complete block design, with three replications and 25 treatments at the research farm of the Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center of West Azerbaijan province, Iran, in the spring and summer of two consecutive years, 2014–2015 and 2015–2016. The first factor was assigned to fennel landraces (Gaziantep, Hamedan, Urmia, Yazd, and Shiraz) and the second factor to the foliar application (nitrogen nano-fertilizer, magnetic water, urea, chicken manure, and the control). Results showed that interaction of fertilizer treatment and landrace increased fresh and dry weight, biological yield, and seed yield significantly. In the first year, the highest fresh weight (166 g) and dry weight (35.5 g) were observed in the Gaziantep landrace fertilized with chicken manure. The highest anethole and fenchone contents (81.75% and 7.92%, respectively) were observed in the landraces treated with chicken manure. Based on the percentages, the Urmia landrace had the highest anethole percentage (83.2%), and the Shiraz landrace had the lowest one (77.5%). The highest fenchone contents (9.61%) and the lowest (2.18%) were observed in the Yazd and Urmia landraces. Due to the positive effect of application of chicken manure on improving the studied traits of fennel, it is recommended to include chicken manure inputs to enhance the efficiency of crops, reduce environmental pollution, and move toward sustainable agriculture. Full article
Article
Chemical Variability in the Composition of Zhumeria majdae (Rech. F. & Wendelbo) Essential Oil According to Storage Time and Temperature
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110463 - 03 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Zhumeria majdae (Rech. F. & Wendelbo) is an aromatic herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family, traditionally employed in the Persian medicine for the treatment of a wide number of diseases. In the present study, the chemical composition of Z. majdae essential oil obtained [...] Read more.
Zhumeria majdae (Rech. F. & Wendelbo) is an aromatic herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family, traditionally employed in the Persian medicine for the treatment of a wide number of diseases. In the present study, the chemical composition of Z. majdae essential oil obtained from the plant’s aerial features, and stored at various temperatures (refrigerator temperature 4 °C, freezer temperature −20 °C, and room temperature 20 ± 3 °C) and times (0, 3, 6, and 9 months) was studied. The essential oil was isolated through hydrodistillation, and its composition was evaluated by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The results showed that the composition of essential oils changed as a function of the various storage temperatures and times. Linalool (34.85–48.45%), camphor (27.09–39.17%), limonene (1.97–4.88%), and camphene (1.6–4.84%) made up the main volatile compounds which showed differences in their concentrations according to the various storage conditions. Notably, when compared to a non-stored treatment sample (analyzed immediately after essential oil collection), the amount of linalool and camphor increased in all samples stored in all conditions of temperature and time, with the exception of the samples stored for nine months at room temperature. On the other hand, limonene and camphene contents decreased during the storage treatments, showing that the highest content of these compounds occurred in the non-stored treatment. Essential oil storage at the freezer temperature and for three months storage time resulted in the highest average value of the major constituents, highlighting these as the best conditions for obtaining the highest content of the major compounds. Full article
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Article
Shading of Medical Plants Affects the Phytochemical Quality of Herbal Extracts
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110437 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
The manipulation of light intensity by shade nets can lead to exchanges in the phytochemical quality and antioxidants ofsome herbs. This study aimed to determine whether shading by pearl nets (50% shade index) could improve the bioactive compounds in several medicinal herbs such [...] Read more.
The manipulation of light intensity by shade nets can lead to exchanges in the phytochemical quality and antioxidants ofsome herbs. This study aimed to determine whether shading by pearl nets (50% shade index) could improve the bioactive compounds in several medicinal herbs such as thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), marjoram (Origanum majorana L.), oregano (Origanum vulgare L.), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.), and peppermint (Mentha piperita L.), and their correspondingherbal extracts during a four-week maceration process in ethanol. Oregano and thyme provided the highest yield of total extractive substances (TES) from both shaded and non-shaded plants. Among all studied herbs, the highest level of antioxidants, expressed as total phenolic content (TPC) was found in extracts from shaded plants of lemon balm. Herbal extracts produced from non-shaded thyme and marjoram had higher flavonoid contents compared to herbal extracts from shaded plants. Accumulation of the investigated secondary metabolites depends more on the specificity of a plant species rather than light intensity. This study was an initial step in the production of medicinal plants with an increased quantity of antioxidant and other bioactive compounds during the maceration process in extracts, aimed to be used as natural alcoholic productwith added value. Full article
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Article
Effect of Different Biological and Organic Fertilizer Sources on the Quantitative and Qualitative Traits of Cephalaria syriaca
Horticulturae 2021, 7(10), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7100397 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Due to the potential to enhance soil productivity and plant growth, biological fertilizers have recently been considered an alternative source for soil, water, and crop-contaminating chemical fertilizers in sustainable agriculture. The importance of different fertilizer sources on quantitative and qualitative traits of Syrian [...] Read more.
Due to the potential to enhance soil productivity and plant growth, biological fertilizers have recently been considered an alternative source for soil, water, and crop-contaminating chemical fertilizers in sustainable agriculture. The importance of different fertilizer sources on quantitative and qualitative traits of Syrian cephalaria (Cephalaria syriaca L.) was explored in an experiment based on a randomized complete block design during the 2015–2016 growing season. The maximum grain yield (9.97 g/plant) and biological yield (24.57 g/plant) were obtained from the application of Azotobacter + chemical fertilizer treatment, but the maximum oil percentage (25.23%) and oil yield (2.41 g/plant) were observed in the plants treated with Azotobacter + vermicompost. The plants treated with Azotobacter + chemical fertilizer exhibited the highest 1000 seed weight (15.03 g). Application of Azotobacter + vermicompost increased chlorophylls a, b, and total by 2.06, 1.96, and 4.02% versus Azotobacter treatment alone, respectively. The treatment of Azotobacter + manure increased total phenol, flavonoids, and DPPH antioxidant activity by 27.89, 0.56, and 53.16% versus the treatment of Azotobacter + chemical fertilizer. The integrated application of different fertilizer sources had an optimal effect on the uptake of trace elements (Cu, Fe, and Zn) so that the treatment of Azotobacter + vermicompost increased their concentrations. Due to the positive effect of integrated application of different fertilizer sources on improving the studied traits of Cephalaria, it is recommended to replace chemical fertilizers with combined fertilizers including organic and biological inputs to enhance the efficiency of crops, reduce environmental pollution, and move towards sustainable agriculture. Full article
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Article
Comparison between Fermentation and Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction: Which Is the Most Efficient Method to Obtain Antioxidant Polyphenols from Sambucus nigra and Punica granatum Fruits?
Horticulturae 2021, 7(10), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7100386 - 09 Oct 2021
Viewed by 695
Abstract
Fruit extracts of Sambucus nigra L. (elderberry) and Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) have several applications in nutraceutical, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries thanks to their richness in antioxidant polyphenols, whose composition changes with the extraction method applied. We aimed to compare the efficiency of [...] Read more.
Fruit extracts of Sambucus nigra L. (elderberry) and Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) have several applications in nutraceutical, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries thanks to their richness in antioxidant polyphenols, whose composition changes with the extraction method applied. We aimed to compare the efficiency of the fermentation extraction, recently applied by industries, with the ultrasound-assisted extraction–UAE, a well-known and efficient technique, on the yield of antioxidant polyphenols from elderberry fruits and pomegranate fruit-peels. Extracts were obtained by both methods, analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the antioxidant capacities were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and Hydroxyl Radical Scavenging (HRS) assays. The main compounds detected in elderberry were caffeoyl and quercetin derivatives, present in higher amounts in UAE extracts. In pomegranate, punicalagin were the main constituents, also detected in higher contents in the UAE extracts compared to fermented ones. The UAE was more suitable for extracting anthocyanins from pomegranate. In addition, higher antioxidant capacities were observed in UAE extracts, possibly due to their richness in polyphenols. Therefore, despite the recent wide applicability and the good performance of the fermentation process, the UAE may be considered more efficient for the extraction of polyphenols from S. nigra and P. granatum fruits and may be used to obtain polyphenolic antioxidant extracts to be applied by several industries. Full article
Article
Bio-Chemical Fertilizer Improves the Oil Yield, Fatty Acid Compositions, and Macro-Nutrient Contents in Nigella sativa L.
Horticulturae 2021, 7(10), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7100345 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
The present study evaluated the effects of biofertilizers on qualitative and quantitative traits of Nigella sativa L. The experiment was conducted based on a randomized complete block design with 10 treatments and three replications. The treatments included control (no fertilization), U (100% chemical [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the effects of biofertilizers on qualitative and quantitative traits of Nigella sativa L. The experiment was conducted based on a randomized complete block design with 10 treatments and three replications. The treatments included control (no fertilization), U (100% chemical fertilizer as urea at 53.3 kg ha−1, Nb (Biofertilizer, Azotobacter vinelandii), Pb (Biofertilizer, Pantoea agglomerans and Pseudomonas putida), Kb (Biofertilizer, Bacillus spp.), NPKb (NPK combined biofertilizers), Nb + 50% U, Pb + 50% U, Kb + 50% U, and NPKb + 50% U. The highest oil percentage was 46.33 percent related to NPK(b) + U50%, and the highest oil yield was 466.43 kg/ha related to NPK(b) + U50%. The highest seed yield (1006.64 kg/ha) was observed in the plants treated with NPK(b) + U50%. The treatment of K(b) + U50% increased myristic acid by 0.35%. The NPK(b) + U50% treatment reduced palmitic, stearic, and linolenic acid by 11.3, 2.01, and 0.31%, respectively. The highest oleic acid (27.85%) and linoleic acid (56.6%) were obtained from the treatment of NPK(b) + U50%, respectively. The plants treated with NPK(b) + U50% showed the highest seed N percentage (%), P content (mg g−1) and K content (mg g−1). In general, NPK(b) + U50% is the best treatment in line with sustainable agriculture. Full article
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Review
Moringa oleifera: Miracle Plant with a Plethora of Medicinal, Therapeutic, and Economic Importance
Horticulturae 2022, 8(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8060492 - 02 Jun 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) is one of the most essential medicinal plants primarily found in the rainforest area and forest ecosystem, but is now well-adapted in an organized cultivation system. Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) is well-known as Drumstick tree, [...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) is one of the most essential medicinal plants primarily found in the rainforest area and forest ecosystem, but is now well-adapted in an organized cultivation system. Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) is well-known as Drumstick tree, Moringa kai, color, Marengo, Moringe, mulangay, Sahjan, and Sajna, which are its native names commonly used. It has nourishing, beneficial, and preventive effects when taken as food and has an extensive scope of high restorative properties with huge dietary benefits. Different parts of the M. oleifera plants, such as leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and roots, contain a significant amount of protein, ß-carotene, amino acids, important minerals, and various phenolic compounds. Because of its multifarious health benefits for its therapeutic value, it is considered an essential plant. The plant is found to be blessed with several medicinal characteristics such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, cholesterol-level down, cell reinforcement, and hepatoprotective. Moreover, it is used traditionally in the local curative system against cardiac problems, and the antifungal properties are efficiently utilized for the treatment of a wide range of ailments. The present review article was designed to explore the nutritional and economic benefits, medicinal and therapeutic applications, and the future biomedical prospects of Moringa with a view towards human wellbeing. Full article
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Review
Cyanobacteria: A Natural Source for Controlling Agricultural Plant Diseases Caused by Fungi and Oomycetes and Improving Plant Growth
Horticulturae 2022, 8(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8010058 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are a group of prokaryotic microorganisms largely distributed in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. They produce a wide range of bioactive compounds that are mostly used in cosmetics, animal feed and human food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, and [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are a group of prokaryotic microorganisms largely distributed in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. They produce a wide range of bioactive compounds that are mostly used in cosmetics, animal feed and human food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, and the production of biofuels. Nowadays, the research concerning the use of cyanobacteria in agriculture has pointed out their potential as biofertilizers and as a source of bioactive compounds, such as phycobiliproteins, for plant pathogen control and as inducers of plant systemic resistance. The use of alternative products in place of synthetic ones for plant disease control is also encouraged by European Directive 2009/128/EC. The present up-to-date review gives an overall view of the recent results on the use of cyanobacteria for both their bioprotective effect against fungal and oomycete phytopathogens and their plant biostimulant properties. We highlight the need for considering several factors for a proper and sustainable management of agricultural crops, ranging from the mechanisms by which cyanobacteria reduce plant diseases and modulate plant resistance to the enhancement of plant growth. Full article
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Review
Sterols and Triterpene Diols in Virgin Olive Oil: A Comprehensive Review on Their Properties and Significance, with a Special Emphasis on the Influence of Variety and Ripening Degree
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110493 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
Olive oil is considered one of the most valuable vegetable oils and is highly appreciated by consumers for its specific and distinguishable taste and aroma, as well as its nutritional value. Sterols and triterpene diols are important carriers of bioactive properties of olive [...] Read more.
Olive oil is considered one of the most valuable vegetable oils and is highly appreciated by consumers for its specific and distinguishable taste and aroma, as well as its nutritional value. Sterols and triterpene diols are important carriers of bioactive properties of olive oil and are responsible for some of the beneficial effects of its consumption on human health, such as lowering serum LDL-cholesterol levels and significantly reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The concentration of total sterols and the proportions of particular sterols and triterpene diols are among the parameters used to verify and prove the authenticity of olive oil in accordance with the EU and other countries’ regulations. Finally, their composition has been shown to have high discrimination potential for ensuring traceability with respect to variety, geographical origin, harvest date, and other factors. For these reasons, the research on sterols and triterpene diols in olive oil is an ever-growing field of scientific interest with great practical importance. This review focuses on all the important aspects of sterols and triterpene diols in olive oil, from their chemical structure, biosynthesis, occurrence and role in plants, health benefits, and their use in official controls of olive oil purity and authenticity, to a conclusive survey on the recent findings about the effects of different factors of influence on their content and composition, with a detailed comparative analysis of studies that investigated the effects of the two most important factors, variety and ripening degree. Full article
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