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Shiow Y. Wang and Hongjun Jiao

The effect of blackberries (Rubus sp.) genotypes on antioxidant activities against superoxide radicals (O2 ), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radicals (OH), and singlet oxygen (O,), was evaluated. The results were expressed as percent inhibition of active oxygen species production in the presence of fruit juice. The active oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value referred to the net protection in the presence of fruit juice, and was expressed as micromoles of α-tocopherol, ascorbate, α-tocopherol, and β-carotene equivalents per 10 g of fresh weight for O2 , H2O2, OH, and O2, respectively. Among the different cultivars, juice of Hull' blackberry had the highest oxygen species, superoxide radicals (O2 ), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radicals (OH), and singlet oxygen (O2,) scavenging capacity. Different antioxidants have their functional scavenging capacity against active oxygen species. There were interesting and marked differences among the different antioxidants in their abilities to inhibit the different active oxygen species. β-carotene had by far the highest scavenging activity against O2 but had absolutely no effect on H2O2. Ascorbic acid was the best at inhibiting H2O2 free radical activity. For OH, there was a wide range of scavenging capacities with α-tocopherol the highest and ascorbic acid the lowest. Glutathione had higher O2 scavenging capacity compared to the other antioxidants.

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R. Fernández-Escobar, G. Beltrán, M.A. Sánchez-Zamora, J. García-Novelo, M.P. Aguilera and M. Uceda

Mature `Picual' olive (Olea europaea L.) trees growing in two different localities of Córdoba and Jaén provinces, southern Spain, were subjected to annual applications of 0, 0.12, 0.25, 0.50, or 1.0 kg N/tree in the Cordoba's experiment, and to 0 or 1.5 kg N/tree in the Jaén's experiment. Nitrogen was applied 50% to the soil and 50% through foliar application in Córdoba, and 100% to the soil in Jaén. Three years after the initiation of treatments, when the trees showed differences among them in nitrogen content, fruit were sampled at maturity from each experimental tree during six consecutive seasons to determine the effect of nitrogen fertilization on olive oil quality. Tree nitrogen status was always above the threshold limit for deficiency even in control trees, indicating that most treatments caused nitrogen over fertilization. Nitrogen in excess was accumulated in fruit and, consequently, polyphenol content, the main natural antioxidants, significantly decreased in olive oil as nitrogen increased in fruit. The decrease in polyphenols induced a significant decrease in the oxidative stability of the oil and its bitterness. Tocopherol content, on the contrary, increased with nitrogen application, mainly by an increase in α-tocopherol, the main component in the olive oil. No effect was found on pigment content, particularly carotenoid and chlorophyllic pigments, neither on fatty acid composition.

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Zhiguo Ju, Yousheng Duan and Zhiqiang Ju

Effects of different plant oils (soybean oil, corn oil, olive oil, peanut oil, linseed oil, and cotton seed oil) and oil component emulsions on scald development in `Delicious' apples were studied. Prestorage treatment with commercial plant oils reduced scald development, but was not as effective as 2000 mg•L-1 diphenylamine (DPA) after 6 months of cold storage. Different oil components played different roles in affecting scald. At 6% or 9% concentrations, neutral lipids (mono-, di-, and tri-acylglycerols), and phospholipids inhibited scald to the same level of 2000 mg•L-1 DPA treatment. Free fatty acids partially reduced scald, while α-tocopherol at 3% or higher concentrations accelerated scald development. There were no differences in scald inhibition between unsaturated neutral lipids and saturated neutral lipids or among the different acylated neutral lipids. When α-tocopherol was stripped from plant oils, the stripped plant oils at 6% or 9% controlled scald to the same level of 2000 mg•L-1 DPA treatment. Emulsions of 6% or 9% neutral lipids, phospholipids, or stripped plant oils did not induce greasiness on fruit skin. Fruit treated with lipids, phospholipids, or stripped plant oils looked greener and fresher compared with the control by the end of storage.

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Cynthia L. Barden and William J. Bramlage

Antioxidants are believed to protect against the oxidation of α-farnesene to conjugated trienes in apple (Malus domestica, Borkh.) peel, thus providing resistance against superficial scald development. We conducted three experiments in which apples were a) harvested weekly, during which they were exposed to increasing hours at <10C during ripening; b) induced to ripen with no hours at <10C by applying ethephon; and c) enclosed in paper bags as they ripened. Inducing ripening with ethephon increased total water-soluble reducing compounds and percentage inhibition of lipid oxidation of peel extracts, increased concentrations of α-tocopherol, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid in peel, but only slightly reduced scald. Delayed harvests increased all of these antioxidants except ascorbic acid and greatly reduced scald development. Bagging fruit before ripening decreased α-tocopherol, carotenoid, and ascorbic acid concentrations, decreased total water-soluble reducing compounds, and increased scald development. We conclude that changes in these antioxidants probably are affected more by ripening and light intensity than by low temperature before harvest. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Simone Fanasca, Giuseppe Colla, Youssef Rouphael, Francesco Saccardo, Giuseppe Maiani, Eugenia Venneria and Elena Azzini

A greenhouse experiment was carried out to determine the effect of cationic proportions (K, Ca, Mg) in the nutrient solution on carotenoids and α-tocopherol content at green–orange, orange, red, and intense-red ripening stages using a high-pigment tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivar hp (`Lunarossa') and a standard cultivar (`Corfù') grown in a soilless culture. The highest lycopene concentration was observed in the `hp' cultivar at the red and intense-red ripening stages (3.0 mg/100 g fresh weight and 3.2 mg/100 g fresh weight respectively). In both cultivars, the concentration of β-carotene increased during the ripening stages, reaching the highest value (0.6 mg/100 g fresh weight) at the intense-red stage. The hp cultivar has guaranteed higher lycopene (average, 2.0 mg/100 g fresh weight vs. 1.7 mg/100 g fresh weight) and α-tocopherol contents (average, 1.2 mg/100 g fresh weight vs. 0.9 mg/100 g fresh weight) than those of the standard. In both cultivars, a high proportion of K in the nutrient solution increased antioxidant concentration β-carotene and especially lycopene) during the red and intense-red ripening stages, followed by Mg. The lowest values were recorded for the Ca treatment. Lastly, a positive correlation was recorded between fruit tissue K and lycopene content, whereas a negative correlation was observed between fruit tissue Ca and lycopene content.

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Brenda A. del Rosario, Robert L. Shewfelt and Albert C. Purvis

Evidence is accumulating that mitochondria possess defense mechanisms which effectively protect component membranes from the attack by active oxygen species which are produced continuously within the organelle. This study compared the stability of microsomal (from bell pepper fruit pericarp and cauliflower florets) and mitochondrial (from bell pepper fruit pericarp) membranes against peroxidative challenge systems (cumene hydroperoxide and iron-ascorbate). Protein concentration, (i-tocopherol levels, and total lipids were observed to decrease for both membranes when challenged. The onset of peroxidation was observed to be earlier and at higher levels in microsomes than in mitochondria. These results demonstrate the increased stability of mitochondrial membrane fractions to peroxidative challenge and suggest that the level of antioxidants and not fatty acid composition is the critical factor in resistance to oxidative stress in plant mitochondria.

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Shiow Y. Wang and Dean Der-Syh Tzeng

Foliar application of a mixture of methionine (1 mm) and riboflavin (26.6 μm) reduced the severity of powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca macularia (Wallr. ex Fr.) Jacz. f. sp. fragariae] infection in `Earliglow' strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) plants. Efficacy of this mixture on controlling powdery mildew infection was enhanced by supplements of copper, iron, and surfactants [sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), Triton X-100, Tween-20, or oxyalkylenemethylsiloxane (Silwet L-77)]. Free-radical scavengers (n-propyl gallate, thiourea) and antioxidants (α-tocopherol, β-carotene) reduced the efficacy of this mixture. Plants treated with a mixture of riboflavin (26.6 μm), d,l-methionine (1 mm), copper sulfate pentahydrate (1 mm), and surfactants (SDS or Silwet L-77 at concentrations of 0.05% to 0.1%) showed a decrease in powdery mildew infection. Results of this study suggest that treatment with a mixture of methionine and riboflavin is beneficial to strawberry plants and may serve as an alternative to fungicides for controlling powdery mildew.

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Mustafa Ozgen, Artemio Z. Tulio Jr., A. Raymond Miller, R. Neil Reese and Joseph C. Scheerens

In preliminary studies, we found that relative and absolute antioxidant (AO) levels varied within and among small fruit types. AO levels were affected by assay method used, time of reaction, volume of sample, and the ratio of reactants to total AO activity. To identify the physicochemical parameters that affect accuracy and reproducibility, a series of experiments were conducted to test the roles of AO assay, different AOs, and AO concentration on measured AO content and reaction kinetics. Three assays (DPPH, FRAP, ABTS) were used to evaluate AO capacity of seven fruit types (black and red raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, grape, elderberry, and cranberry) and nine purified AOs (ascorbic, caffeic, chlorogenic, gallic, and ellagic acids, α-tocopherol, trolox, cyanidin-3-glucoside, and quercetin). Ascorbic acid, trolox, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and α-tocopherol exhibited simple reaction kinetics and reached endpoints quickly, regardless of assay. Gallic and ellagic acids, quercetin, cyanidin-3-glucoside, and all fruit extracts exhibited more complex kinetics and long reaction times (>70 min) to reach an endpoint. Moreover, the latter four AOs had the highest AO capacity among the compounds tested. We observed differences in reactivity between assays, compounds and fruit extracts, but relative AO activity was comparable, although the absolute values differed. Since AO capacity of fruit extracts is a composite of the individual AOs present, it is important that reactions progress to near steady state, assay reactants are in excess of (30–50×) the AO capacity being measured, more than one assay is used to describe the total AO activity of fruit samples. Thus, there may not be a single AO assay method that completely defines the AO activity of a given fruit.

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Cynthia L. Barden and William J. Bramlage

During the harvest season apples ripen and develop scald resistance. In the Northeast they usually are also exposed to cool temperatures as they mature and ripen. Experiments were conducted to study the effects of cool temperature, light and maturity on the endogenous antioxidants and subsequent scald development in Cortland and Delicious apples. Total lipid-soluble antioxidant activity in apple peel at harvest generally increased as scald incidence after storage decreased. Yet, α tocopherol, ascorbic acid and total water-soluble reducing capacity were not closely related to scald development. The absence of light (bagged fruit) decreased all measured antioxidants and increased scald development. However, ethephon applied in mid-August to induce ripening increased the levels of these antioxidants but had little effect on scald incidence in the absence of cool temperatures (hours <10°C). Cool temperatures, which decreased scald susceptibility, increased lipid-soluble antioxidant activity but had little influence on the other measured antioxidants. These data suggest that the endogenous antioxidants may be only partly responsible for natural scald resistance.

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Cynthia L. Barden and W. J. Bramlage

Superficial scald development on apples is related to preharvest environmental conditions, perhaps through effects on endogenous antioxidant concentrations In 1989 we examined effects of maturity, light, and preharvest temperatures (< 10°C) on endogenous antioxidant levels in the fruit at harvest and on scald development after long-term storage in 0°C air. Cortland apple trees were sprayed with 500 ppm ethephon 1 month before normal harvest to create maturity differences. Fruit on other Cortland trees were bagged 1 month prior to harvest to reduce light interception. Samples also were harvested from other Cortland trees after exposures to different numbers of hours < 10°C, Hours < 10°C before harvest were negatively correlated to scald development. Ethephon treatment decreased scald incidence, and bagging increased it, The total lipid-soluble antioxidant activity increased with increasing hours < 10°C and with ethephon treatment, while bagging of fruit slightly decreased this antioxidant activity. To better understand the relationships between preharvest factors and antioxidant levels, individual antioxidants, including ascorbic acid, α tocopherol, anthocyanins and glutathione, are being analyzed.