Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality 2019-12-13T11:22:37+01:00 Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality Open Journal Systems <p>This journal is published in collaboration with the German Society for Quality Research on Plant Foods and the Section Applied Botany of the German Botanical Society. It focuses on applied research in plant physiology and plant ecology, plant biotechnology, plant breeding and cultivation, phytomedicine, plant nutrition, plant stress and resistance, plant microbiology, plant analysis (including -omics techniques), and plant food chemistry.</p> Agro-morphological changes caused by the accumulation of lead in Corchorus olitorius, a leafy vegetable with phytoremediation properties 2019-12-13T11:22:37+01:00 Sibongokuhle Ndlovu Rajasekhar VSR Pullabhotla Nontuthuko Rosemary Ntuli <p>Lead (Pb) can enter the food chain through the consumption of contaminated plants and can cause serious health issues. However, research on how Pb accumulation affects morphology of leafy vegetables in South Africa is minimal. This study tested the effect of lead accumulation on vegetative and reproductive traits of <em>Corchorus olitorius</em>.<br>Plants were grown under varying Pb concentrations, and studied for their variation in vegetative and reproductive traits as well as Pb accumulation in leaves, stems and roots. Plants grown within allowable soil concentrations of 150 mg kg–1 Pb accumulated toxic (≥ 10 mg kg–1) Pb in all plant parts without causing any morphological defect, except for a decrease in chlorophyll content. Minor reductions in growth and yield were evident only at 900-1000 mg kg–1 concentration. Pb accumulation increased as its concentration increased in the soil, with a higher accumulation in roots in comparison to aerial parts. In conclusion, <em>C. olitorius</em> can grow and reproduce under toxic Pb levels (≥ 300 mg kg–1) and accumulate toxic amounts of Pb (≥ 10 mg kg–1) without visible morphological defects. Therefore, it is suitable for phytoremediation but unsafe for consumption when it is collected from sites prone to Pb contamination.</p> 2019-12-13T09:31:53+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) Salicylic acid alleviates chilling injury in cold-stored ‘Huangguan’ pear 2019-12-13T11:20:46+01:00 Yeqing Guan Chuangqi Wei Yudou Cheng Junfeng Guan <p>Chilling injury (CI) often occurs in ‘Huangguan’ pear (<em>Pyrus bretschneideri</em> Rehd) at low temperature storage, which is characterized by brown spot on the fruit surface. In this study, the ‘Huangguan’ pear fruit was soaked either with salicylic acid (SA) or distilled water (control) and subsequently stored at 0 ℃. The results showed that 5 mM and 10 mM SA treatments significantly reduced the CI index of the fruit compared with the control, but had no significant effect on fruit firmness, soluble solids content (SSC) and titratable acid (TA) content. Further study on the mechanism of CI showed that 5 mM SA treatment increased the content of SA in peel, enhanced the activities of ascorbic acid peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), reduced the accumulation of phenols in the later stage, decreased the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) before the occurrence of CI, inhibited the expression of PPO1 and PPO5 genes in peel, and significantly down-regulated expression of LOX1 and PLD4, which code for lipoxygenase and phospholipase D, respectively. These results indicated that SA treatment increased the antioxidant capacity of the peel, inhibited the degradation of cell membrane lipids, reduced the appearance of brown spot on the fruit surface and alleviated CI during cold storage in ‘Huangguan’ pear.</p> 2019-12-13T09:24:50+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) Chemical composition of field grown radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus) as influenced by season and moderately reduced water supply 2019-12-12T15:43:00+01:00 Christine Beatrix Schlering Helmut Dietrich Matthias Frisch Monika Schreiner Ralph Schweiggert Frank Will Jana Zinkernagel <p>Seasonal variations in water availability as increasingly provoked by climate change pose severe challenges for vegetable production, particularly for crops requiring reliable and high water supply for achieving satisfactory quality. In contrast to most previous studies applying severe water deficits, we examined the effects of moderate water deficits on the chemical composition of red radish roots during three consecutive years with variable climatic conditions. Radish were cultivated in open field, applying two different water supply treatments and following a randomized block design comprising four sets of six plots each. The resulting water reductions of 3-20&nbsp;% led to a significant increase of dry matter-based <em>myo</em>-inositol levels, whereas those of selected minerals and trace elements, phenolics and glucosinolates decreased. Anthocyanin levels remained unchanged. Fresh-matter related levels of most analytes increased upon reduced water treatments due to higher dry matter contents. While pigment levels in radish remained unchanged, mild water deficit affected other quality-related parameters such as pungency-related glucosinolates.</p> 2019-12-12T15:21:25+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) Quality traits of saffron produced in Italy: geographical area effect and good practices 2019-11-21T14:52:46+01:00 Luca Giupponi Giulia Ceciliani Valeria Leoni Sara Panseri Radmila Pavlovic Guido Lingua Alfredo Di Filippo Annamaria Giorgi <p>Saffron (<em>Crocus sativus</em> L.) is the most expensive spice in the world and is used in food, cosmetic and dyeing industries. Considering that the production of saffron is increasingly widespread in medium-small Italian farms as well as the scarceness of information and studies regarding the quality of the saffron produced in Italy, the principal aim of this study was to investigate the quality of Italian saffron. Qualitative analysis was conducted in accordance with ISO 3632 1,2:2010-2011 considering 484 samples collected over four years (2015-2018). In particular, moisture content, aroma strength (safranal), colouring strength (crocin) and flavour strength (picrocrocin) were assessed for each sample, and whether spice quality varied according to the geographical area where the spice was produced was also investigated. Qualitative analysis showed that the majority (84-93%) of the samples analysed are of the first quality category, regardless of the year of production. Moisture content and colouring strength are the factors that influence the quality of the spice most. Principal component analysis showed that quality is not influenced by the geographical area where the spice was produced. Finally, some best agricultural practices to obtain a high quality saffron spice are reported.</p> 2019-11-21T11:24:13+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) The therapeutic properties of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.): Reviewing novel findings and medical indications 2019-11-11T15:30:45+01:00 Katarzyna Świąder Christofora Hanny Wijaya Katarzyna Startek <p><em>Melissa officinalis</em>, a perennial plant in the family Lamiacae, known as lemon balm, is a popular herb with multiple therapeutic properties. Significant content of active compounds (including rosmarinic acid) is reported to be responsible for the broad health effects of lemon balm. <em>Melissa officinalis</em> has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antidepressant activities. It can be used in the treatment of sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and obesity as well as in ophthalmology, gynaecology, oncology, gastroenterology and cardiology. This review includes literature on the chemical composition of <em>Melissa officinalis</em> and the possibilities of its use in medicine as well as functional food. Furthermore, the side effects and the contraindications to the usage of this herb were summarized.</p> 2019-11-11T15:29:23+01:00 Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s)