Topic Editors

Department of Agri-Food Production and Environmental Sciences (DAGRI), University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy
National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP), 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

Edible Plants as Sources of Polyphenols: Cultivation Techniques, Extraction, and Nutraceutical Applications

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (20 December 2023)
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13128

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), there are around 250,000 plant varieties available for agriculture, and only a few of them have been exploited for human diet. Nonetheless, despite the existence of many edible plants, most are underused, although having many nutritional and nutraceutical properties that could encourage their valorization and utilization, to diversify food resources and explore new applications for human health. Indeed, as the population grows, the consumption of neglected plants for food and medicine has increased worldwide, and this can be attributed to their high nutritional potential as well as their health benefits. Nevertheless, thousands of edible species remain wild or semi-wild and are not still domesticated. These underutilized edible species have the potential to improve food systems toward being more nutritious, sustainable, and resilient to climate change. Among the variety of metabolites present in neglected edible plants, polyphenols (e.g., flavonoids, tannins, anthocyanins) work as effective ingredients for the prevention of many chronic and degenerative diseases. In addition, these compounds can act as antimicrobials and antioxidants, improving the shelf-life of food products, as well as colorants for the food industry. Therefore, the exploitation of polyphenolic-rich edible plants that can be employed as nutraceuticals, functional products, food protectants, or supplements is desirable. In this Topic, the exploitation of polyphenolic rich wild edible plants, their cultivation techniques and strategies, extraction processes, nutritional value, and nutraceutical applications are themes to be explored. We invite both original research articles and reviews papers, based on but not limited to the keywords presented below.

Dr. Luana Beatriz dos Santos Nascimento
Dr. Cecilia Brunetti
Dr. Antonella Gori
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • phenolic compounds 
  • phenolic acids 
  • flavonoids 
  • tannins 
  • anthocyanins 
  • cultivation conditions 
  • harvesting time 
  • extraction methods 
  • shelf-life 
  • functional food 
  • nutraceuticals 
  • antioxidants 
  • colorants 
  • dietary supplements

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Dietetics
dietetics
- - 2022 24.3 Days CHF 1000
Foods
foods
5.2 5.8 2012 13.1 Days CHF 2900
Horticulturae
horticulturae
3.1 2.4 2015 14.7 Days CHF 2200
Nutrients
nutrients
5.9 9.0 2009 14.5 Days CHF 2900
Plants
plants
4.5 5.4 2012 15.3 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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21 pages, 9483 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics Study of the Effect of Transcription Factor NOR-like1 on Flavonoids in Tomato at Different Stages of Maturity Using UPLC-MS/MS
by Di Guan, Ying Zhao, Xiaodan Zhao and Daqi Fu
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4445; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244445 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Tomato fruits are rich in flavonoids. This study explores the effect of transcription factor SlNOR-like1 on the accumulation of flavonoids in tomato fruits at different ripening stages. We used ultra-pressure liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) to analyze wild-type (WT) and NOR-like1 CRISPR/Cas9-edited (NOR-like1) [...] Read more.
Tomato fruits are rich in flavonoids. This study explores the effect of transcription factor SlNOR-like1 on the accumulation of flavonoids in tomato fruits at different ripening stages. We used ultra-pressure liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) to analyze wild-type (WT) and NOR-like1 CRISPR/Cas9-edited (NOR-like1) tomato fruits. A total of 50 flavonoid metabolites were accurately identified and determined in tomatoes. The flavonoid metabolic differences were observed among the different tomato sample groups using PCA and OPLS-DA analysis. There were 16 differential flavonoids (13 upregulated and 3 downregulated) identified between WT-GR (WT tomato at the green-ripening stage) and NOR-like1-GR (NOR-like1 tomato at the green-ripening stage), 9 differential flavonoids (six upregulated and three downregulated) identified between WT-BR3 (WT tomato at the color-breaking stage) and NOR-like1-BR3 (NOR-like1 tomato at the color-breaking stage), and 12 differential flavonoids (11 upregulated and 1 downregulated) identified between WT-BR9 (WT tomato at the red-ripening stage) and NOR-like1-BR9 (NOR-like1 tomato at the red-ripening stage). Rutin, nicotiflorin, naringenin chalcone, eriodictyol, and naringenin-7-glucoside were the five flavonoids with the highest content in the ripening stages (BR3 and BR9) in both WT and NOR-like1 tomato fruits. The overall flavonoid contents in WT tomato fruits changed little from GR to BR3 and decreased from BR3 to BR9; meanwhile, in the NOR-like1 tomato fruits, the total amounts of the flavonoids exhibited an increasing trend during all three ripening stages. The accumulation pattern of flavonoid metabolites in NOR-like1 tomato fruits differed from that in WT tomato fruits, especially in the later ripening process of BR9. The transcription factor SlNOR-like1 has an impact on the accumulation of flavonoids in tomato fruits. The results provide a preliminary basis for subsequent research into its regulatory mechanism and will be helpful for attaining future improvements in the nutritional quality and postharvest treatment of tomato fruits. Full article
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15 pages, 2475 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of Antioxidant Potential, Phytochemicals, Nutritional Properties, and Growth of Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Schweinf.) B.L.Burtt with Different Dosages of Compost Tea
by Timothy Ivan Jasson, Muhali O. Jimoh, Christiaan W. Daniels, Felix Nchu and Charles P. Laubscher
Horticulturae 2023, 9(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9020274 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
The wild population of Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Zingiberaceae) is being eroded due to several pharmacological benefits and the hidden economy credited to its ethnobotanical uses in Southern Africa. This has called for the adoption of sustainable ways of cultivating the species without compromising its [...] Read more.
The wild population of Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Zingiberaceae) is being eroded due to several pharmacological benefits and the hidden economy credited to its ethnobotanical uses in Southern Africa. This has called for the adoption of sustainable ways of cultivating the species without compromising its bioactive constituents. In this study, compost tea was brewed and applied at different dosages to potted S. aethiopicus to enhance its growth quality, phytochemical content, and elemental compositions. Treatments comprised 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.00 (vv) graded concentrations of compost tea, while water and undiluted compost tea were the control treatments. Results showed that dosages of compost tea had no significant effect on chlorophyl content or fresh and dry weights of rhizomes of S. aethiopicus. The longest leaves were recorded in plants irrigated with water only, while the shortest leaves were recorded in plants irrigated by 50% compost tea. A similar trend was observed in leaf width, except that equivalent values were recorded in all compost tea treatments while plants irrigated with undiluted compost tea were tallest. The highest and lowest flavanols were respectively recorded in 0.50 and 0.25 compost tea-treated plant samples, while undiluted compost tea yielded the highest flavonol and phenolic acids. The highest antioxidant contents were produced by the 0.25 compost tea-treated samples in the ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)), FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) and ORAC (Oxygen Radical Antioxidant Capacity) assays, while the lowest were observed in plants irrigated with water only, although all compost tea-treated plants had equivalent effects on the ORAC content. The highest N, P, K, and Mn contents were produced in the 0.25-treated samples, while the minerals were least accumulated in samples treated with water only. All treatments had equivalent effects on Ca, Zn, and B yield, whereas the highest and equivalent accumulations of Mg and Na were recorded in the control treatments. Iron (Fe) and Cu were most influenced significantly by water whereas P, Ca and Zn tissue concentration was not significantly influenced by treatments. These results indicate that compost tea can optimize growth, mineral accumulation, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in S. aethiopicus. This approach serves as a greener and sustainable way of conserving overexploited indigenous medicinal plants such as S. aethiopicus to mitigate overexploitation of its wild relatives and preserve its genome from imminent extinction. Full article
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27 pages, 4897 KiB  
Article
Herbal Honey Preparations of Curcuma Xanthorriza and Black Cumin Protect against Carcinogenesis through Antioxidant and Immunomodulatory Activities in Sprague Dawley (SD) Rats Induced with Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene
by Titiek Hidayati, Indrayanti Indrayanti, Endang Darmawan and Akrom Akrom
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020371 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Background: Traditionally, Curcuma xanthorriza (CX), black cumin seed (BC), and honey have been used by the Indonesian people as medicinal ingredients to treat various health symptoms. CX extracts and BC have been proven in the laboratory as chemopreventive agents, antioxidants, and immunomodulators. In [...] Read more.
Background: Traditionally, Curcuma xanthorriza (CX), black cumin seed (BC), and honey have been used by the Indonesian people as medicinal ingredients to treat various health symptoms. CX extracts and BC have been proven in the laboratory as chemopreventive agents, antioxidants, and immunomodulators. In this study, we developed CX extract, BC oil, and honey into herbal honey preparations (CXBCH) and hypothesized that the preparations show chemopreventive activity. The purpose of the study was to determine the CXBCH potential as chemopreventive, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory. Method: In this experimental laboratory research, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and cytotoxic activities were tested on human mammary cancer cell lines (T47D cells) while the chemopreventive activity of the CXBCH preparations on Sprague Dawley (SD) rats induced with dimethylbenzene(a)anthracene (DMBA). Results: CXBCH preparations demonstrated immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and cytotoxic activities in T47D, Hela, and HTB-183 cells and in DMBA-induced SD rats, as the preparations inhibited tumor nodule formation, increased the number of CD4, CD8 and CD4CD25 cells, and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity, and decreased serum NO levels. Conclusions: CXBCH preparations display chemopreventive, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties. Full article
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16 pages, 1823 KiB  
Review
Pre-Harvest Benzothiadiazole Spraying Promotes the Cumulation of Phenolic Compounds in Grapes
by Yumei Jiang, Faisal Eudes Sam, Jixin Li, Yang Bi, Tengzhen Ma and Bo Zhang
Foods 2022, 11(21), 3345; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11213345 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Benzothiadiazole (BTH) is a commercial chemical elicitor that can induce an innate immune response in grapevines and improve the phenolic components and color quality of grapes and corresponding products. The literature on the influence of BTH on the accumulation and metabolism of phenols [...] Read more.
Benzothiadiazole (BTH) is a commercial chemical elicitor that can induce an innate immune response in grapevines and improve the phenolic components and color quality of grapes and corresponding products. The literature on the influence of BTH on the accumulation and metabolism of phenols from grapes is extensive. However, many unknown bio-mechanisms involved have been poorly investigated, which opens a gateway for pioneering research that needs to be done in this field. To this purpose, this review aims to analyze and explore the gaps in current research so that subsequent studies may be geared towards them. Full article
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24 pages, 9739 KiB  
Article
Hawk Tea Flavonoids as Natural Hepatoprotective Agents Alleviate Acute Liver Damage by Reshaping the Intestinal Microbiota and Modulating the Nrf2 and NF-κB Signaling Pathways
by Ting Xu, Shanshan Hu, Yan Liu, Kang Sun, Liyong Luo and Liang Zeng
Nutrients 2022, 14(17), 3662; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14173662 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2518
Abstract
Hawk tea (Litsea coreana Levl. var. lanuginosa) is a traditional herbal tea in southwestern China, and was found to possess hepatoprotective effects in our previous study. However, it is unclear whether hawk tea flavonoids (HTF) can alleviate alcoholic liver damage (ALD). [...] Read more.
Hawk tea (Litsea coreana Levl. var. lanuginosa) is a traditional herbal tea in southwestern China, and was found to possess hepatoprotective effects in our previous study. However, it is unclear whether hawk tea flavonoids (HTF) can alleviate alcoholic liver damage (ALD). Firstly, we extracted and identified the presence of 191 molecules categorized as HTFs, with reynoutrin, avicularin, guaijaverin, cynaroside, and kaempferol-7-O-glucoside being the most prevalent. After taking bioavailability into consideration and conducting comprehensive sorting, the contribution of guaijaverin was the highest (0.016 mg/mice). Then, by daily intragastric administration of HTF (100 mg/kg/day) to the ALD mice, we found that HTF alleviated liver lipid deposition (inhibition of TG, TC, LDL-C) by reducing liver oxidative-stress-mediated inflammation (up-regulation NRF2/HO-1 and down-regulation TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB pathway) and reshaping the gut microbiota (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus increased). Overall, we found HTF could be a potential protective natural compound for treating ALD via the gut–liver axis and guaijaverin might be the key substance involved. Full article
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13 pages, 17019 KiB  
Article
Protective Effect of Bilberry Anthocyanin Extracts on Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Intestinal Damage in Drosophila melanogaster
by Guocai Zhang, Yunyao Gu and Xianjun Dai
Nutrients 2022, 14(14), 2875; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142875 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2327
Abstract
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic recurrent disease that can be controlled by various natural extracts. Anthocyanins (ANCs) from bilberry have significant antioxidant capacity and are widely used as food colors and antioxidants. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of [...] Read more.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic recurrent disease that can be controlled by various natural extracts. Anthocyanins (ANCs) from bilberry have significant antioxidant capacity and are widely used as food colors and antioxidants. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of bilberry anthocyanin extracts (BANCs) against dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced intestinal inflammation in a Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) model, and the effects on the lifespan, antioxidant capacity, intestinal characteristics, and microbiome and gene expression profiles were analyzed to elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms. In DSS-induced normal and axenic D. melanogaster, BANCs significantly increased the survival rate, maintained the intestinal morphology and integrity, and reduced the number of dead intestinal epithelial cells and the ROS level of these cells. BANC supplementation had no significant effect on the intestinal microflora of DSS-induced D. melanogaster, as demonstrated by a 16S rDNA analysis, but improved the antioxidant capacity by activating the relative gene expression of NRF2 signaling pathways in the intestine of D. melanogaster with DSS-induced inflammation. Therefore, the results demonstrate that BANCs effectively alleviate intestinal inflammatory injury induced by DSS and improve the antioxidant capacity of D. melanogaster by modulating NRF2 signaling pathways, and could thus promote the application of BANCs as functional foods. Full article
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