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William Reichert, H. Chung Park, H. Rodolfo Juliani, and James E. Simon

Catnip (Nepeta cataria, Fam. Lamiaceae), an aromatic herb from southwestern Asia, is best known for causing a euphoric effect on domestic cats and other members of the feline family due to the volatile compound nepetalactone contained in the essential oil of the plant (Jamzad et al., 2003; McElvain et al., 1941; Waller et al., 1969). The aromatic volatiles of catnip are produced in the glandular trichromes on the leaf epidermis (Moon et al., 2009). Due to the morphological nature of the bilabiate bisexual flowers, this plant can self-pollinate and also

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William Reichert, Harna Patel, Christopher Mazzei, Chung-Heon Park, H. Rodolfo Juliani, and James E. Simon

Two new clonal oregano cultivars Origanum vulgare cv. Pierre and cv. Eli have been developed through multiyear and multisite evaluations, and have been approved by Rutgers University for commercial and public release. Each of these new cultivars have significantly greater essential oil and 2-methyl-5-propan-2-ylphenol (carvacrol) yields than the currently offered commercial alternatives. These two new cultivars were developed to provide good field performance, upright growth habit, to accumulate high essential oils yields and serve as rich sources of carvacrol. The cultivars were designed to supplement the flavor, food, fragrance, nutraceutical, cosmetic and animal and poultry industries. These two

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William J. Sciarappa, Jim Simon, Ramu Govindasamy, Kathleen Kelley, Frank Mangan, Shouan Zhang, Surendran Arumugam, Peter Nitzsche, Richard Van Vranken, Stephen Komar, Albert Ayeni, Gene McAvoy, Chung Park, William Reichert, David Byrnes, Qingli Wu, Brian Schilling, and Ricardo Orellana

The rapid expansion of Asian populations in the United States presents significant opportunities and challenges for the eastern U.S. produce sector to take advantage of their close proximity to densely populated areas. Initial crop studies followed by ethnic consumer and crop surveys were conducted to examine vegetable, leafy green, and herb consumption and expenditures among Chinese, Asian Indians, and other Asian groups. Consumer choices were used to prioritize subsequent production trials. Family expenditures were determined for specific Asian produce types and total produce purchases. This market data were extrapolated to the east coast Asian populations to assess potential market size (90% confidence interval, error margin 5.6%). Chinese consumer values ranged from $245 to $296 million per annum and Asian Indians ranged from $190 to $230 million per annum. The average annual fresh fruit and vegetable expenditures by both Asian groups were 2 to 3.5 times respective national averages. Leading Chinese vegetables determined by average expenditures were baby bok choy, pak choy, oriental eggplant, snow pea, oriental spinach, and napa cabbage. Highest expenditure of leafy greens and herbs for Chinese consumers were chives and garland chrysanthemum. This market-driven survey reported consumption of over 100 Asian crops and 42 cultivars were ranked “feasible” to grow in the eastern section of the United States. Horticultural matrices of selection criteria narrowed the list to the most promising candidates for production. As a result, 28 cultivars were then grown in University research and demonstration plots at Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida in determining growth characteristics and yield to focus horticultural crop producers. Leading vegetable cultivars for Asian Indian consumers were bitter gourd, eggplant, fenugreek leaves, cluster beans, and bottle gourd. Leading leafy greens and herbs for Asian Indians were turmeric, fenugreek, sorrel spinach, and radish greens. Most of these Asian cultivars were demonstrated to grow well in the three main growing zones of 5, 7, and 9. Phytochemical attributes such as antioxidant activity, polyphenols, and mineral contents were analyzed for several of the leading crop candidates. This initial field and laboratory data shows that many of these ethnic crops can be grown in the eastern United States to direct production opportunities and are nutrient rich to help drive consumer demand.