Phytochemical and Antioxidant Properties of Plants—Health Care, Food Production and Green Agriculture

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2023) | Viewed by 8467

Special Issue Editors

National Research Council, Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems, CNR, Via Madonna del Piano n.10, Sesto F.no, 50019 Florence, Italy
Interests: plant secondary metabolites; medicinal plants; antioxidant and nutraceutical compounds
Italian National Research Council | CNR • Institute for BioEconomy (IBE), Fiorentino, Italy
Interests: plant biology; plant Biotechonoly; molecular markers; genetic diversity; metabolites; phytochemical analysis; crop improvment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In its different aspects, the chemistry of plant secondary metabolites can be considered an ancient discipline. From immemorial time, the human race has employed plants as a source of dyes, toxins, fibers, stimulants and medicines, particularly the primordial idea of finding healing powers in plants. With the development of biochemistry and plant physiology in the nineteenth century, the investigation of phyto-chemicals assumed the feature of a modern science based on an experimental and causal approach. With the aid of sophisticated chromatographic techniques coupled with a variety of spectral methods, the rate of structural identification has since increased exponentially, approximately 100,000 structures having already been described with many more yet to be discovered. It has been estimated that the total number of secondary metabolites in the plant kingdom alone exceeds the 500,000 mark. Nowadays, antioxidant properties of plant secondary metabolites are of particular interest due to the growing market demand for natural compounds and possible difficulties in the utilization of synthetic antioxidants and their likely toxic effects. Moreover, these antioxidant substances are of particular interest due to their reported ability to protect against many diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the growing need to employ sustainable low-impact and “green” practices in agriculture has brought to light studies regarding phytochemical employment as growth and development biostimulants and agents to control crop health, offering many application opportunities in organic and conventional farming.

This Special Issue of Plants aims to present advances in the research of phytochemicals in plants and their antioxidant properties, welcoming studies regarding the characterization of antioxidant properties from traditional plants in different world areas, advances in the studies of the impact of these substances on human health care, food and crop production and the agricultural employment of phytochemicals.

Dr. Alessandra Bonetti
Dr. Raffaella Petruccelli
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • antioxidants
  • traditional plants
  • natural preservatives
  • biostimulants
  • organic farming
  • polyphenols
  • flavonoid
  • anthocyanins
  • natural preservatives

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1716 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Compounds of Potato Breeding Genotypes and Commercial Cultivars with Yellow, Light Yellow, and White Flesh in Iran
Plants 2023, 12(8), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12081707 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1362
Abstract
Potatoes are a staple food with high antioxidant properties that can positively affect population health. The beneficial effects of potatoes have been attributed to tuber quality. However, the tuber quality related researches at genetic levels are very few. Sexual hybridization is a powerful [...] Read more.
Potatoes are a staple food with high antioxidant properties that can positively affect population health. The beneficial effects of potatoes have been attributed to tuber quality. However, the tuber quality related researches at genetic levels are very few. Sexual hybridization is a powerful strategy for producing new and valuable genotypes with high quality. In this study, 42 breeding potato genotypes in Iran were selected based on appearance characteristics such as shape, size, color, eyes of tubers, and tuber yield and marketability. The tubers were evaluated for their nutritional value and properties, viz. phenolic content, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins, sugars, proteins, and antioxidant activity. Potato tubers with white flesh and colored skin had significantly higher levels of ascorbic acid and total sugar. The result showed that higher phenolic, flavonoid, carotenoid, protein concentration, and antioxidant activity were noted in yellow-fleshed. Burren (yellow-fleshed) tubers had more antioxidant capacity in comparison to genotypes and cultivars, which did not differ significantly with genotypes 58, 68, 67 (light yellow), 26, 22, and 12 (white). The highest correlation coefficients in antioxidant compounds were related to total phenol content and FRAP, suggesting that phenolics might be crucial predictors of antioxidant activities. The concentration of antioxidant compounds in the breeding genotypes was higher than in some commercial cultivars, and higher antioxidant compounds content and activity were detected in yellow-fleshed cultivars. Based on current results, understanding the relationship between antioxidant compounds and the antioxidant activity of potatoes could be very helpful in potato breeding projects. Full article
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14 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
Chemical Profile, Antibacterial and Antioxidant Potential of Zingiber officinale Roscoe and Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton Essential Oils and Extracts
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111487 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2688
Abstract
The aim of this work was to study the chemical composition of the essential oil extracted from ginger rhizomes (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and cardamom seeds (Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton). Using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS), a total of 43 [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to study the chemical composition of the essential oil extracted from ginger rhizomes (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and cardamom seeds (Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton). Using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS), a total of 43 compounds were identified in ginger essential oil and 17 compounds in cardamom. The most abundant components, respectively, were zingiberene (22.18%) and 1.8-cinéol (43.47%). Essential oils, methanol, ethanol and chloroform extracts for both plants were tested against nine bacteria and yeast. The highest sensitivity was noticed against Staphylococcus aureus with a 25 mm inhibition zone. The antioxidant potency of both oils and extracts were measured using DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl) free radical scavenging and the ferric reducing power (FRP) method; the ethanolic extract of cardamom fruits exhibited the best results for both tests, with an IC 50 = 0.423 ± 0.015 mg/mL and 95.03 ± 0.076 FRP mg AAE/g. Full article
17 pages, 1134 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Capacity and Antiplatelet Activity of Aqueous Extracts of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Obtained with Microwave and Ultrasound Assisted Extraction
Plants 2022, 11(9), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11091179 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1967
Abstract
Phaseolus vulgaris L. has beneficial effects on several chronic non-communicable diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases) related to oxidative stress. This redox state may influence platelet activation and aggregation; which is crucial in thrombus formation. In this work, the antiplatelet and antioxidant potential of aqueous [...] Read more.
Phaseolus vulgaris L. has beneficial effects on several chronic non-communicable diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases) related to oxidative stress. This redox state may influence platelet activation and aggregation; which is crucial in thrombus formation. In this work, the antiplatelet and antioxidant potential of aqueous extracts obtained by green processes, microwave-assisted extraction and ultrasound-assisted extraction, from 25 landraces of common beans were investigated. Phenol content and antioxidant potential were determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu method, total monomeric anthocyanin and ORAC assay, respectively. The antiplatelet potential of the extracts was explored by turbidimetry. Microwave extraction showed higher phenol content and antioxidant activity in most extracts. Soja landrace extract obtained by microwave-assisted extraction showed higher phenol content and antioxidant activity (893.45 ± 87.30 mg GAE/g and 35,642.85 ± 2588.88 ORAC μmolTE/g, respectively). Although most of the extracts obtained by microwave-assisted extraction showed antiplatelet activity, the extract of Hallado Aleman landrace obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction (IC50 = 0.152 ± 0.018 mg/mL) had the highest antiplatelet potential. The extraction method, MAE and UAE, influences the biological potential of the beans, specifically the antiplatelet activity and antioxidant activity. The functional value of this legume for direct consumption by the population was evidenced, as well as its inclusion in food formulations. Full article
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Review

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12 pages, 2026 KiB  
Review
A Review on Traditionally Used African Medicinal Plant Annickia chlorantha, Its Phytochemistry, and Anticancer Potential
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2293; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172293 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
Annickia chlorantha Setten & P.J.Maas belongs to the Annonaceae family and is a multi-purpose medicinal plant, which has been extensively used for the traditional treatment option for malaria in western and central Africa. Its phytochemical composition is dominated particularly by various biologically active [...] Read more.
Annickia chlorantha Setten & P.J.Maas belongs to the Annonaceae family and is a multi-purpose medicinal plant, which has been extensively used for the traditional treatment option for malaria in western and central Africa. Its phytochemical composition is dominated particularly by various biologically active protoberberines and acetogenins. This review aims to provide a comprehensive review on the traditional uses, phytochemical profiles, and the toxicology of this plant from a myriad of available publications. Even after its tremendous applications against several different human ailments, this plant has been underestimated for its anticancer potential. Herein, based on the phytochemical composition, we discuss the probable mode of mechanism for its antiproliferative activity, which highlights its importance for cytotoxicity screenings against cancer cells. Additionally, this article discusses several research questions and suggests the future directions of its applications in medicinal plant-based anticancer research. Full article
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