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 86 (2013) on, the content of the journal is licensed under the&nbsp;<a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 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 the new work is licensed under a CC-BY-SA compatible license.</p> <p>The copyright of the published work remains with the authors. If you want to use published content beyond what the CC-BY-SA 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-SA applied), please contact the&nbsp;corresponding author to ask for permission.</p> Actors’ post-harvest maize handling practices and allied mycoflora epidemiology in southwestern Ethiopia: Potential for mycotoxin-producing fungi management <p>Maize plays a key role in household food security in Ethiopia, but its benefit has been limited with high post-harvest losses. This study was initiated to assess post-harvest practices and associated fungi pathogen epidemiology along the maize supply chain in southwestern Ethiopia. The study was conducted in five purposively selected districts and a three-stage sampling procedure was employed for selection of the target groups. In total, 342 participants from different actors were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Maize samples were collected every month from 63 randomly selected actors for mycological analysis during six months storage period. Post-harvest loss was estimated to be 31% and loss during storage was identified as a critical loss point. Comparing all biological agents, loss due to fungal pathogens in the store ranked on top. Moisture content at loading stage could not increase the shelf life of the commodity. Germination tests showed a significant (P &lt; 0.01) decrease as storage duration increased, while mould incidence on cobs and kernels significantly (P &lt; 0.05) increased. In total, seven fungal genera were isolated, characterized and identified, with Fusarium, Penicillium and Aspergillus being predominant. Most of the post-harvest practices are not effective in reducing post-harvest losses. Especially, farmers’ traditional storage structures can be influenced by external climatic conditions and make the grains liable to develop mould during the rainy season. This research, therefore, highlights the need to design, develop or modify existing storage technologies that reduce post-harvest loss due to mycotoxin-producing fungal pathogens. Furthermore, post-harvest drying to obtain optimum moisture content is also crucial to reduce losses.</p> Chemeda Abedeta Garbaba Lemlem Gurmu Denboba Esayas Mendesil Fikre Lemessa Ocho Oliver Hensel ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-17 2018-10-17 91 237 248 10.5073/JABFQ.2018.091.032 Development and validation of a quick assay for the total glucosinolate content in horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) using glucose strips and a blood glucose meter. <p class="Default tm6">A quick assay to determine the total glucosinolate content of fresh horseradish roots in less than 10 minutes is described. The method involves the following steps: 1. Maceration of horseradish root with 4% phosphoric acid to avoid enzymatic degradation of endogenous glucosinolates, 2. neutralization of the extract and determination of free glucose using a commercial blood glucose meter, 3. enzymatic hydrolysis of the glucosinolates by exogenous myrosinase, 4. detection of released glucose, again using a blood glucose meter, and 5. calculation of the glucosinolate content on the basis of the difference between the two glucose values determined. The newly developed assay (‘ITC quick test’) was compared with a standard high-performance liquid chromatographic method for glucosinolate analysis.</p> Nadine Meitinger Wolfgang Kreis ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-17 2018-10-17 91 232 236 10.5073/JABFQ.2018.091.031 24-Epibrassinolide enhanced the quality parameters and phytochemical contents of table grape <p>Enhancing the nutritional quality of fruits using safe and environmental friendly methods has become of the most important targets in modern fruit production systems. Brassinosteroids, a new group of phytohormones with positive roles on human health, have been shown to modulate a wide range of plant activities and enhance fruit quality in some crops. This study was conducted to examine the effect of 24-Epibrassinolide (EBL), a synthetic brassinosteroid, on quality attributes and some active bio-compounds of “Thompson seedless” table grapes. Grape vines and bunches were sprayed with EBL (at 0, 3 and/or 6 µmol L<sup>-1</sup>) at three different stages (4 weeks after fool bloom, veraison stage and 1 day before harvest). As a novel finding in seedless grapes, exogenous EBL substantially enhanced soluble solids content, total organic acids, antioxidants, phenolics and ascorbic acid levels in treated berries. Also the activity of catalase and polyphenol oxidase enzymes was increased. There was no significant difference between the two brassinosteroid levels in most cases. EBL showed a good potential for enhancing table grape phytonutrients, nutritional quality and phytochemical contents and is introduced as a safe compound to be used in table grape production programs.&nbsp;</p> Mohammadreza Asghari Rana Rezaei-Rad ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-12 2018-10-12 91 226 231 10.5073/JABFQ.2018.091.030 Seasonal effect on Moringa oleifera gaseous exchange and water use efficiency under diverse planting densities <p>The study on <em>Moringa oleifera</em> was conducted over twelve months during 2014-2015 to evaluate the impact of the growing season and varying planting densities on biomass yield and physiological at-tributes under dryland conditions. Trial was established at densities of 5000, 2500, 1667 and 1250 plants ha<sup>-1</sup>, with eight replicates. The increase in planting density led to an increase in biomass production. The monthly and seasonal data collected showed significant differences in net photosynthetic rate, transpiration, sub-stomatal CO<sub>2</sub> and stomatal conductance. However, planting densities of <em>M. oleifera</em> had no significant effect on all the gaseous exchange parameters measured. The results further revealed that the amount of carbon dioxide assimilated by the tree is not attributable to photosynthetic and transpiration rates as well as stomatal conductance. Under water shortage condition and high temperature, <em>M. oleifera</em> used an adaptation strategy by reducing stomatal conductance and transpiration and hence increasing water use efficiency. <em>Moringa oleifera</em> thus has the ability to sequester carbon even under water stress conditions. The tree can therefore be recommended for planting at a relatively high density of 5000 plants ha<sup>-1</sup> in many parts of Limpopo province where temperatures are favorable for improved farmers’ livelihoods as well as for climate change mitigation.</p> Paulina Moshibudi Mabapa Kwabena Kingsley Ayisi Irvine Kwaramba Mariga ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-04 2018-09-04 91 219 225 10.5073/JABFQ.2018.091.029 Nutraceutical components, antioxidant activity and color of eleven varieties of prickly pear (<i>Opuntia</i> sp.) <p>In Mexico, there are 50 recorded varieties of the prickly pear fruit. National production covers only the white-pulp fruit, but other red varieties have export potential; however, their nutraceutical properties are unknown. The pulp and peel (underutilized tissue) of the pigmented fruits of the genus<em> Opuntia</em> <em>sp.</em> are marketed on a limited basis. They represent an alternative source of stable pigments (betalains), which are associated with antioxidant properties, for the agroindustry. The objective was to assess the content of nutraceutical components, antioxidant activity, and peel and pulp color of 11 varieties of the prickly pear fruit that are marketed on a small scale. Statistical analysis revealed that Roja Villanueva peel had the highest betalain content (39.97 mg 100 g-1 FW). Alteña Blanca peel demonstrated the highest concentration of phenolic compounds (618.39 mg GAE 100 g-1 FW), whereas Alteña Roja had the highest ascorbic acid content (37.14 mg AAE 100 g-1 FW). The greatest nutraceutical potential was observed in the pulp of the non-marketed Tzaponopal Rojo variety of the species O. robusta var. larreyi, due to the high antioxidant activity (0.0183 mg mL-1), as well as the darkest color (‹ hue value, 12.31) and the lowest lightness (‹ luminosity, 19.31), which coincides with the highest betalain concentration.</p> M. Ramírez-Ramos K. Medina-Dzul R. García-Mateos J. Corrales-García C. Ybarra-Moncada A.M. Castillo-González ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-31 2018-08-31 91 211 218 10.5073/10.5073/JABFQ.2018.091.028