The Effects of Post-harvest Treatments on the Quality of Edible Flowers and Aromatic Plants

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2024 | Viewed by 4402

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and agro-environment, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, PI, Italy
Interests: plant physiology and biochemistry; abiotic stress; tissue culture; hairy roots; bioactive compounds; medicinal plants; food quality; in vitro secondary metabolites production; antioxidants
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Guest Editor
CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Corso degli Inglesi 508, 18038 Sanremo, Imperia, Italy
Interests: in vitro propagation; doubled haploid; microspore embryogenesis; recovery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Edible flowers are a new source of nutraceuticals due to their nutritional and chemoprotective value. The traditional health benefits of flowers have recently been supported by several studies due to their composition rich in bioactive compounds, which have been correlated to functional properties. Bioactive compounds can also be directly extracted from them.

Post-harvest treatment in the aromatic plants and medicinal herbs can alter nutritional properties; the utilization of novel strategies to maintain the unaltered bioactive compounds are welcome in this Special Issue.

Original manuscripts of diverse types concerning recent insights, approaches, and advances in the pre- and post-harvest harvesting, handling, and marketing of perishable fresh produce which aim to preserve its quality and reduce losses during prolonged storage and shelf life are encouraged. We also welcome innovative applied research which aims to maintain fresh produce quality and drying techniques.

This Special Issue intends to gather information on various postharvest treatments, such as packaging and fresh cutting, to show that the use of new preservatives can significantly affect maturity and senescence, post-harvest quality, post-harvest disease, and the shelf life of edible flowers and medicinal herbs.

This Special Issue will serve as a collection of relevant research papers in these field.

Dr. Laura Pistelli
Dr. Andrea Copetta
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. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2200 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

  • antioxidant activity
  • floral scent
  • secondary metabolites
  • shelf-life
  • preservation
  • nutritional properties
  • biological activity
  • preservative solution
  • drying

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2851 KiB  
Article
Impact of Dry Processing on Secondary Metabolites in the Petals of Marigold (Tagetes spp.) Cultivar
by Ji Hye Kim, You Jin Lim, Jae-Hee Kim and Seok Hyun Eom
Horticulturae 2024, 10(4), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10040382 - 09 Apr 2024
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The edible flowers of marigold (Tagetes spp.) are cultivated for their aesthetic appeal and high utility as functional health food ingredients. Carotenoid and flavonoid contents in marigold petals highlight the importance of selecting the appropriate cultivar and its processing methods for their [...] Read more.
The edible flowers of marigold (Tagetes spp.) are cultivated for their aesthetic appeal and high utility as functional health food ingredients. Carotenoid and flavonoid contents in marigold petals highlight the importance of selecting the appropriate cultivar and its processing methods for their industrial applications. The comparative understanding of the effects of dry processing on functional components across different marigold cultivars is still lacking. Therefore, this study investigated functional compound changes in the dry processing effect on four marigold cultivars with distinct flower shapes (Durango, Inca) and colors (yellow, orange). The petals in hot air drying (HAD) with 30, 60, and 90 °C applications were analyzed for the measurement of their individual secondary metabolite contents, total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and antioxidant activities. In freeze drying (FD), the lutein content varied significantly based on flower color, exhibiting higher levels in cultivars with orange petals. Otherwise, the levels of quercetin derivatives displayed distinct differences based on varieties other than color, with Inca cultivars demonstrating higher levels of quercetin 7-O-glucoside (Q7G) than Durango cultivars. In HAD, the lutein levels show a tendency to increase above 60 °C regardless of the cultivar. The content of quercetin glycosides decreased, while the aglycone increased in HAD treatments, regardless of the temperatures. Correlation and PCA results highlighted the impact of phenol compounds on antioxidant activity. Overall, these findings underscore the significance of variety and color in determining the chemical composition and antioxidant properties of marigold flowers. Full article
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15 pages, 2399 KiB  
Article
Effect of Drying Post-Harvest on the Nutritional Compounds of Edible Flowers
by Jean Santos Machado, Ylenia Pieracci, Giulia Carmassi, Barbara Ruffoni, Andrea Copetta and Laura Pistelli
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111248 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
The post-harvest techniques are the most critical point to ensure the quality of edible flowers (EFs) and to keep the bioactive metabolites available for human nutrition. The different species of EFs also represent a problem in improving their consumption with safety. The present [...] Read more.
The post-harvest techniques are the most critical point to ensure the quality of edible flowers (EFs) and to keep the bioactive metabolites available for human nutrition. The different species of EFs also represent a problem in improving their consumption with safety. The present study focused on the description of the effects of the commonly used drying treatments in the phytonutritional composition of four species of EFs, Callianthe megapotamica, Callianthe striata, Nemesia strumosa and Salvia elegans. The bioactive metabolites and antioxidant activity were determined after freeze-drying (FD) and hot-air-drying (HA) treatments in comparison to fresh flowers. All EFs showed different mineral/trace compositions with potassium as the main element and 70–86% water loss. Both post-harvest treatments increased all the metabolites and antioxidant activity in each species. C. striata with FD treatment had the highest content of primary and secondary metabolites. N. strumosa has the highest ascorbic acid content with the HA treatment. All species had significant antioxidant activity, increasing with FD for C. striata while HA is more recommended for the other species. The post-harvest techniques are able to preserve and increase the bioactive metabolites and must be chosen according to each EF species. Full article
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14 pages, 3367 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Color and Bioactive Compounds of Different Colors from Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana Gams.) Dried in Hot Air Dryer
by Deniz Hazar, Ismail Boyar, Cuneyt Dincer and Can Ertekin
Horticulturae 2023, 9(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9020186 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
The popularity of edible flowers is increasing day by day and new solutions are sought due to their short shelf life. For this purpose, in this study, four different colors of Viola × wittrockiana Gams.; white (Fino Clear White), orange (Delta Pure [...] Read more.
The popularity of edible flowers is increasing day by day and new solutions are sought due to their short shelf life. For this purpose, in this study, four different colors of Viola × wittrockiana Gams.; white (Fino Clear White), orange (Delta Pure Orange), bordeaux/mauve rose (Mammoth Rocky Rose), and yellow (Delta Premium Pure Lemon) flowers were dried at drying air temperature of 60, 70, and 80 °C with a convective hot air dryer. Color (L*, a*, b*, C*, h°, ∆E, and BI), drying time and bioactive compounds (Total Phenolic Content (TPC), anthocyanin content (AC), and antioxidant activity (AO) values were measured). The orange flowers showed the fastest drying (78 min at 80 °C). The lowest total color change (∆E) (4.58 at 70 °C) and browning index (BI) (9.58 at 60 °C) values were observed in all drying processes of white flowers. The highest AC was determined in bordeaux flowers in both fresh (2.4 mg malvidin glucoside/g) and dried (25.57 mg malvidin glucoside/g at 60 °C) samples. The AO decreased in all samples depending on the temperature increase, it was found that the most beneficial result in terms of bioactive compounds was the bordeaux flowers dried at drying air temperature of 60 °C. Full article
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