Wild Edible Plants: Nutritional Value, Phytochemical Composition and Health Benefits

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2022) | Viewed by 10650

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento Acadêmico de Alimentos (DAALM), Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Campus Medianeira, Paraná, Brazil
Interests: extraction technologies; isolation of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds from fruits and vegetables; development of food formulations with functional properties; natural substances as substitutes for chemical additives (antioxidants; antimicrobial)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since ancient times, wild edible plants (WEPs) have been playing a fundamental role in the human diet, being part of traditional diets and foods systems and also providing important nutrients in times of food scarcity. They include several non-domesticated plants that grow spontaneously in nature and whose berries, leaves, roots, seeds, stalks and/or flowers are still collected and incorporated in the diet of several communities around the globe, mainly in rural regions. In many societies, WEPs are considered as part of their cultural heritage and sociocultural traditions. Over the last several decades, particularly in modern societies, several factors such as agriculture intensification of selected crops, climate change, urbanization and lifestyle changes have been contributing for the loss of biodiversity and the loss of traditional/local knowledge with the consequent decrease in WEPs consumption. However, more recently, there has been a growing interest on several wild plants as they are increasingly perceived as nutritious foods with associated health benefits that, at the same time, offer a link to traditions and a possibility of reinventing new dishes in haute cuisine. Moreover, the importance of these natural and low-cost resources in populations’ food sovereignty and sustainability is increasingly recognized worldwide.

This Special Issue is associated with a Bilateral Portugal-Brazil project that aims to study the nutritional profile, chemical composition, sensory aspects, and bioactive properties of different WEPs traditionally consumed in Brazil. In this context, and considering that more research is needed on several autochthonous wild plants that are still understudied, we invite researchers to submit unpublished original manuscripts and review papers to compose a Special Issue on several aspects related to wild edible plants, such as their chemical composition in terms of nutrients and minor compounds (minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, etc.), sensory aspects, biological properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, etc.), new trends and uses in innovative dishes and changes with processing, among others.

Prof. Dr. Joana S. Amaral
Prof. Dr. Cristiane Canan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • wild edible plants
  • non-conventional plant foods
  • indigenous foods
  • traditional food systems
  • nutrition and diets
  • biological properties
  • food sustainability
  • food sovereignty

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

15 pages, 350 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition and Biological Activity of Commelina erecta: An Edible Wild Plant Consumed in Brazil
by Lucas Vinicius Cavichi, Ângela Liberal, Maria Inês Dias, Filipa Mandim, José Pinela, Marina Kostić, Marina Soković, Daneysa Lahis Kalschne, Ângela Fernandes, Cristiane Canan, Lillian Barros and Joana S. Amaral
Foods 2023, 12(1), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010192 - 01 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2233
Abstract
In recent years, the interest in products of natural origin has boosted the exploitation and use of plants as food and sources of bioactive compounds, especially wild plants widely used in different cultures for several purposes. Commelina erecta is a wild edible plant [...] Read more.
In recent years, the interest in products of natural origin has boosted the exploitation and use of plants as food and sources of bioactive compounds, especially wild plants widely used in different cultures for several purposes. Commelina erecta is a wild edible plant (WEP) traditionally used as food and medicine, about which few studies exist. Thus, this study aimed at enhancing the knowledge about its nutritional, chemical and bioactive profile, considering different plant parts and development stages, in order to increase its inclusion in the diet of South American communities. The nutritional profile was found to be similar to other WEP frequently consumed in Brazil. Thirteen phenolic compounds (HPLC-DAD-ESI/MS) were tentatively identified, with apigenin, luteolin and quercetin derivatives being the most abundant. Fructose and oxalic acid were the major sugar and organic acid, respectively, in the aerial parts of C. erecta, and four isoforms of tocopherols were also identified. Regarding the plant’s antioxidant activity, the EC50 values varied between 18.4 and 1060 µg/mL in the inhibition of lipid peroxidation assay (TBARS) and between 53 and 115 µg/mL in the oxidative haemolysis inhibition (OxHLIA) assay. The hydroethanolic extract obtained from stems at the flowering stage also presented anti-inflammatory activity. In general, all the extracts evidenced promising antimicrobial activity. Altogether, these results reinforce the traditional use of this plant species as food and medicine to support the diet of needier populations and also promote food sovereignty and sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

15 pages, 3178 KiB  
Article
Composition of Phenolic Compounds in South African Schinus molle L. Berries
by Callistus Bvenura and Learnmore Kambizi
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101376 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2041
Abstract
The Schinus molle tree is notoriously invasive in most parts of the world, and yet as a pseudospice, its berries potentially possess some significant health benefits which need to be explored. Therefore, polar metabolome of seed + husks (SH), husks (H), and de-hulled [...] Read more.
The Schinus molle tree is notoriously invasive in most parts of the world, and yet as a pseudospice, its berries potentially possess some significant health benefits which need to be explored. Therefore, polar metabolome of seed + husks (SH), husks (H), and de-hulled (DH) berries were profiled and quantified by untargeted metabolomics approach using UPLC-QTOF-MS. A total of 13 gallotannins, three phenolic acids, a phenolic acid glucoside, three phenolic acid esters, an organic acid, a gallotannin derivative, and nine flavonoids were detected and quantified. Phenolic acids ranged between 12.2–295.7; 4.9–77; and 89.7–1613.1 mg/kg in SH, DH seeds and H respectively. Flavonoids ranged between 1.8–267.5; 73.4–80.4; and 124–564.3 mg/kg in SH, DH seeds and H respectively. Gallotannins ranged between 1.1–146.6; 14.8–21.8; and 48.1–664.8 mg/kg in SH, DH seeds and H respectively. Feruloyltartaric A, quercetin 3-O-glucuronide, catechin digalloylshikimic acid B as well as digalloyl quinic acid were some of the dominant secondary metabolites revealed. These results indicate that S. molle berries are a rich source of secondary metabolites with elevated concentrations in the husks, while DH seeds possess lower concentrations to none. These findings open important insights into the potential of S. molle berries as a natural source of antioxidants for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Buritirana (Mauritiella armata) Fruits from the Brazilian Cerrado: Biometric and Physicochemical Attributes, Chemical Composition and Antioxidant and Antibacterial Potential
by Florisvaldo Gama de Souza, Fábio Fernandes de Araújo, Eduardo Adilson Orlando, Fernando Morais Rodrigues, Davy William Hidalgo Chávez, Juliana Azevedo Lima Pallone, Iramaia Angélica Neri-Numa, Alexandra Christine Helena Frankland Sawaya and Glaucia Maria Pastore
Foods 2022, 11(6), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11060786 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2836
Abstract
The buritirana is a little-explored species of the Arecaceae family. The biometric and physicochemical characteristics, nutritional and chemical composition and antioxidant and antibacterial potential of the buritirana fruit fractions were evaluated here for the first time. The fruits presented an oblong shape. The [...] Read more.
The buritirana is a little-explored species of the Arecaceae family. The biometric and physicochemical characteristics, nutritional and chemical composition and antioxidant and antibacterial potential of the buritirana fruit fractions were evaluated here for the first time. The fruits presented an oblong shape. The pulp represented 16.58% of the whole-fruit weight (10.07 g). The moisture, ash and soluble fiber contents were similar for the whole fraction without seed (WS) and pulp. Although the total carbohydrate content was the same for seed and peel (23.24 g·100 g−1), the seed showed higher protein and insoluble fiber contents. Except for glucose (1256.63 mg·100 g−1), the seed showed the highest concentrations of mono-, di- and oligosaccharides. Mineral content ranged from 0.43 to 800 mg·100 g−1 in all fractions. The peel fraction showed the highest content of vitamin C. The physicochemical results indicate the pulp and WS fraction have potential for the production of fruit-derived food products. Protocatechuic and quinic acids and epicatechin/catechin were found in all fractions. The assay antioxidant capacity DPPH, phenolic content and total flavonoids were higher in the pulp; TEAC and ORACHF values were lower in the seed. Volatile organic compounds were not identified, and the fractions did not show antibacterial activity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1195 KiB  
Article
Influence of Plant Origins and Seasonal Variations on Nutritive Values, Phenolics and Antioxidant Activities of Adenia viridiflora Craib., an Endangered Species from Thailand
by Werawat Wannasaksri, Piya Temviriyanukul, Amornrat Aursalung, Yuraporn Sahasakul, Sirinapa Thangsiri, Woorawee Inthachat, Nattira On-Nom, Chaowanee Chupeerach, Kanchana Pruesapan, Somsri Charoenkiatkul and Uthaiwan Suttisansanee
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2799; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112799 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Adenia viridiflora Craib. is an indigenous plant found in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam that has become threatened owing to lack of knowledge about its agricultural management. This plant is now rare in the wild and was registered in the Plant Genetic Conservation Project [...] Read more.
Adenia viridiflora Craib. is an indigenous plant found in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam that has become threatened owing to lack of knowledge about its agricultural management. This plant is now rare in the wild and was registered in the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the initiation of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (RSPG) to promote sustainable conservation and optimally beneficial utilization. A. viridiflora has a long history of utilization as a nutrient-rich source with medicinal properties but scientific evidence of the veracity of these claims is limited. Here, the nutritional compositions, phenolic contents and antioxidant activities of different plant parts (young shoots and old leaves) of A. viridiflora were investigated using plants collected from four areas of Thailand as Kamphaeng Phet (KP), Muang Nakhon Ratchasima (MN), Pakchong Nakhon Ratchasima (PN) and Uthai Thani (UT) at different harvesting periods (March-April, May–June and July–August). Results indicated that young shoots provided higher energy, protein, fat, dietary fiber, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc than old leaves. By contrast, nutrients such as total sugar, vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron contents were higher in old leaves that also exhibited higher phenolic contents and most antioxidant activities than young shoots. Generally, most nutrients, phenolic contents, and antioxidant activities exhibited no clear trend among different plant origins. The harvesting period of July–August provided a suitable climate for biosynthesis of most nutrients, while high phenolics were mainly found in samples harvested in March–April. No clear trend was observed in the prevalence of antioxidant activities that varied according to assay techniques. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop