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Derek W. Barchenger, John R. Clark, Renee T. Threlfall, Luke R. Howard and Cindi R. Brownmiller

Native to the southeastern United States, the muscadine grape ( Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) is commonly grown for its unique flavor, high nutraceutical content, and pest and disease resistance, which is often a limiting factor in the production of

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Bhimanagouda S. Patil and Ashok K. Alva

Accumulating epidemiological evidences indicate that citrus phytochemicals have prevented chronic diseases such cancer and heart diseases. To enhance nutraceutical levels, field experiments were conducted using `Ruby Red' grapefruit on Carrizo citrange rootstock to evaluate the effects of variable fertilizer rates on nutraceutical contents. The trees received annual nitrogen rates from 0 to 280 kg·ha-1 (using a 1 N: 0.25 P: 1 K blend) under optimal irrigation schedule. Subsamples of fruit were analyzed for nutraceutical levels. HPLC analysis showed that naringin concentrations of the fruit collected from the trees treated with different levels of nitrogen differ significantly, and naringin levels decreased with increased nitrogen levels. Fruit from the control treatment had 1316 mg·mL-1 of naringin compared to the fruit collected from 280 kg N/ha per year trees (1056 mg·mL -1). A similar trend was observed with tasteless flavonoid naringenin rutinoside (narirutin). Total vitamin C [ascorbic acid (AA) plus dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA)] content from the fruit collected decreased with the nitrogen levels increased. These results demonstrate that increased fertilizer rates have an influence on the nutraceutical levels; therefore, there is a potential for further investigations on fine tuning the preharvest production programs to improve the nutritional value of the fruit.

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Stephen J. Stringer, Penelope Perkins-Veazie and Donna A. Marshall

The consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables has always been known to provide essential nutrition to mankind and, both anecdotally and clinically, has been linked to the prevention or alleviation of chronic diseases. The muscadine grape, a fruit native to the southeastern U.S., contains numerous phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants and also other compounds, such as resveratrol, that acts as a chemopreventative. The concentrations of these compounds present in the muscadine grape equal or exceed that known for any other small fruit. Fruit of selected muscadine grape genotypes, including breeding lines and cultivars, were evaluated over a 2-year period to assess the existing genetic base for these nutraceutical compounds. Results demonstrated that concentrations of total phenolics, ellagic acid, and resveratrol differ significantly among cultivars and breeding lines. These results suggest that it should be possible to breed for increased concentrations of the health-promoting compounds in muscadine grapes.

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R.K. Striegler, J.R. Morris, P.M. Carter, J.R. Clark, R.T. Threlfall and L.R. Howard

A muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) planting was established in 1996 at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope, Ark., to provide information on the performance of muscadine grape cultivars in a region where cold hardiness is not a major limitation. This research evaluated harvest parameters, fruit and juice quality, and nutraceutical potential of selected muscadine cultivars grown in southwestern Arkansas. The cultivars evaluated were `Black Beauty', `Carlos', `Cowart', `Doreen', `Early Fry', `Fry', `Granny Val', `Ison', `Jumbo', `Late Fry', NC67A015-17, NC67A015-26, `Nesbitt', `Scarlett', `Southern Home', `Sterling', `Sugargate', `Summit', `Supreme', and `Tara'. Muscadine cultivars differed in productivity and fruit quality. In 2002 and 2003, juice was produced from `Carlos', `Granny Val', `Ison', `Nesbitt', `Southern Home', `Summit', and `Supreme' grapes. `Black Beauty' was also produced into juice in 2003. In 2002, `Nesbitt' grapes had the highest juice yield, 520 L·t–1 (124.6 gal/ton). `Ison' and `Supreme' juice had the highest soluble solids level. In 2003, `Granny Val' grapes had the highest juice yield, 551 L·t –1 (132.0 gal/ton). `Southern Home' juice had the highest soluble solids. The press materials of muscadine grapes were a potential source of high levels of nutraceutical compounds. Dried seeds had the highest total phenolic and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) levels followed by the dried skins, the grapes, and then the juice. The skins of the black cultivars had the highest total anthocyanins level. `Supreme' seeds had the highest total phenolic and ORAC levels while `Ison' skins had the highest total anthocyanin levels. Based on yield, harvest, and juice quality, cultivars recommended to growers in southwestern Arkansas and other areas with a similar climate include `Black Beauty', `Carlos', `Fry', `Granny Val', `Nesbitt', `Southern Home', `Summit', and `Supreme'.

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James W. Rushing

The production, handling, processing and marketing of over-the-counter medicinal products manufactured from plants is virtually unregulated. This can include dietary supplements, functional foods and nutraceuticals, any of which may contain botanical constituents. Of particular concern is the possible presence of human pathogens in products offered at retail. A review of literature is presented. Options for sterilizing herbal medicinal products, including fumigation, irradiation and heat treatments, are presented. Experiences of the spice industry are discussed as they relate to the development of similar protocols for herbal medicines. Methods used to ensure microbiological safety must be evaluated for their effect on the medicinally active constituents in the plant material. Very little data of this nature are available. Avenues for future research are proposed.

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M.A.L. Smith, D. Seigler and F.E. Kandil

Polyphenolic compounds (particularly anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and other flavonoids) from some fruits and vegetables have significant and diverse impacts on human health preservation. While it's well recognized that some of the polyphenolics in foods we consume have a protective and proactive role against disease, very little has been known about how they accomplish this feat. A range of bioassays (in vitro and in laboratory animals) were adapted to examine compounds extracted from berry fruits, and separated into distinct fractions by vacuum chromatography. The proanthocyanidin class of compounds, as well as mixtures of proanthocyanidins and other flavonoids, were significantly bioactive against both the promotion and initiation stages of chemically-induced carcinogenesis. Potent antioxidant activity was not confined to particular fractions, but was present in several classes of compounds. Identification and characterization of the bioflavonoids is complicated both by apparent interactions between related compounds that occur together within horticultural fruits, and interferences from some substances (pectins and complex sugars) that depress observed response in bioactivity assays.

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G. Li, A. Riaz, S. Goyal, S. Abel and C.F. Quiros

Inheritance of three major genes involved in synthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates (GSL) was followed in segregating populations of Brassica oleracea L. generated from three crosses: broccoli × cauliflower, collard × broccoli, and collard × cauliflower. Two of these genes, GSL-PRO and GSL-ELONG, regulate sidechain length. The action of the former results in three-carbon GSL, whereas action of the latter produces four-carbon GSL. We determined that these two genes act and segregate independently from each other in B. oleracea. The double recessive genotype produces only trace amounts of aliphatic GSL. The third gene, GSL-ALK controls sidechain desaturation and, as it has been observed in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., we found that this gene cosegregates with a fourth gene, GSL-OH, that is responsible for sidechain hydroxylation. Elucidation of the inheritance of major genes controlling biosynthesis of GSL will allow for manipulation of these genes and facilitate development of lines with specific GSL profiles. This capability will be important for improvement of Brassica breeding lines with high content of desirable GSL, like glucoraphanin, a demonstrated precursor of anticarcinogenic compounds. Additionally, this work is the first step towards cloning the major genes of the aliphatic GSL pathway, and to use these clones in transformation strategies for further crop enhancement.

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Gregory M. Peck, Ian A. Merwin, Christopher B. Watkins, Kathryn W. Chapman and Olga I. Padilla-Zakour

Maturity and quality of fruit harvested from an orchard of disease-resistant ‘Liberty’ apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) trees was investigated during and after the transition from conventional to integrated (IFP) and organic fruit production (OFP) systems. Over 4 years, internal ethylene concentration, starch pattern index, flesh firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), and percent of surface blush of fruit at harvest were not consistently different between fruit from IFP and OFP systems. Total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of the fruit were also similar between treatments. IFP-grown fruit contained more potassium during the first 2 years and more calcium in all years than OFP-grown fruit. After fruit were stored in air at 0.5 °C for 9 weeks in 2007, OFP-grown apples were firmer and had higher SSC, TA, and SSC:TA ratios. In double-blind triangle taste tests, consumer panelists were able to discriminate between the fruit from each treatment, but in double-blind hedonic and intensity tests, panelists did not consistently rate one treatment more highly than the other. Overall, consumer panelists favorably rated internal quality of fruit grown under both IFP and OFP systems. In 2006, when weather and disease caused a high percentage of OFP-grown fruit to have cosmetic defects, the panelists rated the appearance of OFP-grown apples as less acceptable than the cleaner-looking IFP-grown apples. Our study of ‘Liberty’ apple fruit maturity and quality during a 4-year transition period from conventional to IFP and OFP systems showed that differences were small if present, whereas internal fruit quality was rarely different between systems.

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Derek W. Barchenger, John R. Clark, Renee T. Threlfall, Luke R. Howard and Cindi R. Brownmiller

., 2005 ; Walker et al., 2001 ). Muscadine berries have a unique flavor but are often thick-skinned and vary in color, shape, and size. The reported high nutraceutical content of muscadine grapes and products from muscadine grapes has increased consumer

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Daniela Borgognone, Mariateresa Cardarelli, Luigi Lucini and Giuseppe Colla

( Veríssimo et al., 1995 ) and in pharmacological and nutraceutical preparations ( Fernández et al., 2006 ). Cynara leaf extracts have been used since ancient times for hepatobiliar system regulation and today a wide range of medicinal properties is recognized