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  • Author or Editor: Agnes M. Rimando x
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Recent interest in the human health-promoting properties of fruit phenolics, and especially fruit flavonoids, has stimulated research on how these secondary metabolites may be affected by pre- and postharvest horticultural factors. Resveratrol, although a minor phenolic in many fruit, possesses potent bioactivities, and is therefore of particular interest. To study the effects of postharvest storage and UV-C irradiation on selected phenolic components and antioxidant capacity of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), fruit of cv. Pilgrim, Stevens, and Bergman, were irradiated with UV-C at levels between 0 and 2.0 KJ·m-2, followed by storage at 9 °C for 7 and 17 d. Total phenolic content did not change during storage. However, resveratrol content was higher and antioxidant capacity (ORAC) was lower at 7 days of storage compared to 17 days. There was no main effect of UV-C on total phenolics, anthocyanins, resveratrol, or ORAC. However, there was an interaction between storage time and UV-C irradiation. Anthocyanin content was lower at 7 days, and higher at 17 days, at UV dosages of 1.0 or 2.0 KJ·m-2. Resveratrol content was higher in UV-C irradiated fruit at 7 days, while at 17 days there was no difference between UV-treated and untreated fruit.

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Scutellaria L. is a genus of herbaceous perennials of the Lamianaceae that includes several species with medicinal properties. The medicinal species of Scutellaria are rich in physiologically active flavonoids with a range of pharmacological activity. Experiments were conducted to determine the feasibility of increasing the growth rate and flavonoid content of Scutellaria barbata D. Don and Scutellaria lateriflora L. with CO2 enrichment in a controlled environment. Both species showed an increased growth rate and total biomass in response to CO2 enrichment from 400 to 1200 μmol·mol−1 CO2, and time to flowering was accelerated by 7 to 10 days. The bioactive flavonoids scutellarein, baicalin, apigenin, baicalein, and wogonin were detected in vegetative tissue of S. barbata. Total flavonoid content increased 50% with enrichment of CO2 to 1200 and 81% with 3000 μmol·mol−1. Scutellarein, baicalin, and apigenin concentrations increased with increasing CO2, whereas baicalein and wogonin did not. The flavonoids baicalin, baicalein, wogonin, and chrysin were detected in the vegetative tissue of S. lateriflora. The total concentration of the bioactive flavonoids measured in the vegetative tissue of S. lateriflora was much higher than S. barbata under ambient CO2 conditions (1144 vs. 249 μg·g−1 dry weight). The total content of the measured bioactive flavonoids increased 2.4 times with enrichment to 1200 μmol·mol−1 CO2, and 5.9 times with enrichment to 3000 μmol·mol−1 CO2. These results indicate that the yield and pharmaceutical quality of Scutellaria species can be enhanced with controlled environment production and CO2 enrichment.

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