Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality <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> en-US Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality 1613-9216 <p>From Volume 92 (2019) on, the content of the journal is licensed under the&nbsp;<a href="">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License</a>. Any user is free to share and adapt (remix, transform, build upon) the content as long as the original publication is attributed (authors, title, year, journal, issue, pages) and any changes are labelled.</p> <p>The copyright of the published work remains with the authors. If you want to use published content beyond what the CC-BY license permits, please contact the corresponding author, whose contact information can be found on the last page of the respective article. In case you want to reproduce content from older issues (before CC BY applied), please contact the&nbsp;corresponding author to ask for permission.</p> Quality traits of saffron produced in Italy: geographical area effect and good practices <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> Luca Giupponi Giulia Ceciliani Valeria Leoni Sara Panseri Radmila Pavlovic Guido Lingua Alfredo Di Filippo Annamaria Giorgi Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) 2019-11-21 2019-11-21 92 336 342 10.5073/JABFQ.2019.092.045 The therapeutic properties of Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.): Reviewing novel findings and medical indications <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> Katarzyna Świąder Christofora Hanny Wijaya Katarzyna Startek Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) 2019-11-11 2019-11-11 92 327 335 10.5073/JABFQ.2019.092.044 Mini-review on the efficacy of aquatic macrophytes as mosquito larvicide <p>Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease, which is endemic in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Vector control is the current strategy used for the eradication and elimination of malaria in these countries, but this control method has not proven to be effective, as malaria continues its increasing trend. Although chemical larvicide can also be used to eradicate the malaria vector at the larval stage, preventing the growth of mosquitoes into hematophagous adults, the continuous use of chemical insecticides leads to environmental pollution. It is therefore of paramount importance to identify effective, low-cost, biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides for the control of mosquito larvae.<br>This mini-review aims to assess the present and future of the use of macrophytes as a mosquito larvicide. We critically analyze the trend of malaria cases in sub-Saharan Africa and evaluate why botanical larvicides may contribute to the eradication of malaria in the region. The ecological role of macrophytes in the aquatic environment and their potential as botanical larvicide are explained in detail. The study illustrates that the macrophytes<em> Azolla pinnata, Pistia stratiotes, Eicchornia crassipes, Phragmites australis, Nelumbo nucifera, Nymphaea lotus, Typha latifolia</em> and <em>Leucas martinicensis</em> have been effectively used as larvicides against mosquito larvae. It is recommended that additional work be done to purify the biologically active components that are responsible for the larvicidal activity of these macrophytes, and future research should assess the potential of other macrophytes for effective utilization as larvicides.</p> Yunusa Adamu Ugya Tijjani Sabiu Imam Jincai Ma Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) 2019-11-11 2019-11-11 92 320 326 10.5073/JABFQ.2019.092.043 Changes in activity and isozyme patterns of peroxidase and chitinase in kiwifruit pollen <p>In this study, changes in activity and isozyme patterns of peroxidase (POD) and chitinase in kiwifruit (<em>Actinidia chinensis</em>) pollen were investigated under different storage conditions. Although residual activity was detected in heat-treated pollen, changes in POD activity were observed due to difference in storage conditions as revealed by preliminary studies in which pollen germination varied with different storage conditions. POD activity of kiwifruit pollen increased as proportions of viable pollen increased, indicating a positive correlation (R<sup>2</sup>=0.993) between pollen viability and POD activity. There was a detectable difference in the relative activity of POD enzyme between heat-treated and viable pollen. Decoloration of Congo Red was observed in germination medium which fresh pollen was cultured. The activity of individual chitinase isozymes present in kiwifruit pollen differed depending on storage conditions, which had a direct impact on pollen vigor. Although direct evidence showing that chitinase isozymes are implicated in pollen vigor is still uncertain, distinction of isozymes may facilitate more precise identification of viable pollen which possesses germination potential from non-viable pollen. Taken together, these results suggest that monitoring the activity of POD and chitinase can be an attractive alternative to evaluate pollen vigor in kiwifruit.</p> Yong-Su Song Sang-Hyun Lee Jung-An Jo Seung-Hee Choi Dong-Jun Seo Yong-Kyu Lee Ung Yang Woo-Jin Jung Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) 2019-11-08 2019-11-08 92 313 319 10.5073/JABFQ.2019.092.042 LC-MS analysis of phenolic compounds and oleraceins in aerial parts of Portulaca oleracea L. <p><em>Portulaca oleracea</em> L. (purslane) is a well-known edible and ethnomedicinal plant and it has been called “vegetable for long life” in the Chinese herbal medicine. The plant is recognized for the high content of polyphenols, including flavonoids and phenolic acids.<br>In this study, hydromethanolic purslane extracts from Bulgarian and Greek locations were screened for polyphenolic content. Based on polyphenols, saponins and DPPH antioxidant activity, an orthogonal<br>design L9(3<sup>4</sup>) was performed in order to improve the ultrasound assisted extraction procedure of dry and fresh plant material. An UHPLC-Orbitrap-MS method in parallel-reaction monitoring mode was developed for the simultaneous identification and quantification of 14 compounds comprising hydroxybenzoic, hydroxycinnamic and caffeoylquinic acids, as well as 2 flavonol glycosides. The quantitative analysis was validated for curve fit, range, instrumental detection limit (IDL), instrumental quantification limit (IQL), LOD, LOQ, precision, recovery and accuracy. The UHPLC-MS quantification method revealed good linearity (r<sup>2</sup> &gt; 0.9950), LOD &lt; 925.85 ng/g dw and LOQ &lt; 3055.31 ng/g dw. Moreover, 11 cylco-dopa amides (Oleraceins A-D, N-Q, S, U and W) were tentatively identified through UHPLC-MS and their MS<sup>2</sup> mass fragmentation was described.</p> Yulian T Voynikov Reneta Gevrenova Vessela Balabanova Irini Doytchinova Paraskev Nedialkov Dimitrina Zheleva-Dimitrova Copyright (c) 2019 The Author(s) 2019-10-24 2019-10-24 92 298 312 10.5073/JABFQ.2019.092.041