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  • Author or Editor: Nancy Flores x
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Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) is also called Chinese date. There are ∼100 jujube cultivars with limited commercial availability, and the majority of them have scant details in the United States. In this study, nutrient dynamics during fruit maturation of different jujube cultivars grown at Las Cruces, Los Lunas, and Alcalde, NM, were examined in 2018 and 2019. Cultivars varied by location and year, and included ‘Li’, ‘Lang’, ‘Sugarcane’, ‘September Late’, and ‘Sherwood’. Parameters tested were total phenolic content (TPC), proanthocyanidins (PAs), vitamin C, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and antioxidant capacity: 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl radical scavenging capacity and ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP). Moisture, TPC, PAs, FRAP, and vitamin C content decreased with fruit maturity; however, the latter stage of fruit maturity showed an increase in cAMP. Compared with fruit at full-red maturity, creamy fruit had TPC, PA, FRAP, and vitamin C concentrations that were 1.0 to 1.8, 4.4 to 12.4, 1.9 to 2.6, and 0.1 to 1.3 times higher, respectively, depending on location (P < 0.05). From creamy to full-red maturity, cAMP increased by 0.9 to 4.5 times. At full-red maturity, estimated TPC in jujube fruit ranged from 10.6 to 16.8 mg gallic acid equivalent per gram dry weight (DW), whereas estimated PAs ranged from 1.8 to 5.3 mg PA B2/g DW. Jujube fruit at full-red maturity had a vitamin C content that ranged from 649.0 to 1153.3 mg/100 g DW. At full-red maturity, the concentration of cAMP ranged from 148.1 to 277.6 μg/g DW in Las Cruces samples.

Open Access

The tropical plant Bixa orellana L. (annatto) is the sole source of bixin, the most frequently employed natural pigment in the food industry. Little is known about the physiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics of this crop. Our purpose was to establish a set of analytical tools that could be applied in the genetic improvement of B. orellana, particularly for the screening of characteristics such as bixin content and resistance to diseases or pests. Some preliminary results on the study of carotenoid synthesis are presented. In vitro cultures from several B. orellana tissues were established and DNA, RNA, and proteins were extracted from them and analyzed. Similarly, bixin and total carotenoids were quantified.

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