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I consider myself to be a geneticist and plant breeder. Although not an expert in nutrition, I have long been interested in the improvement of nutritional value through plant breeding. This interest has led to a study of the genetic control of carotene synthesis. This knowledge has been used in our breeding program to derive tomatoes with a high content of provitamin A, and to the improvement of color.

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and physiology. With regard to nutritional quality, previous studies indicated that mild environmental stress or low fertilization could be exploited to enhance nutritional values of vegetable crops. Low N fertilization ( Galieni et al., 2015

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Abstract

The volume of water utilized for washing did not affect either quality attributes or nutritional value of canned spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Dipping in a detergent solution prior to the washing decreased greenness, optical density of liquor, nitrates and ascorbic acid. The amount of grit and sand was not influenced by either detergent or volume of water used for washing. Shearpress values of canned spinach blanched in either steam or water did not differ. Color was rated slightly higher on spinach that was blanched in steam. Water blanching leached out more nitrates, riboflavin and ascorbic acid than steam blanching, but carotene was not affected.

Open Access

Edible chrysanthemum, pak-choi, endive, chicory, and lettuce were hydroponically cultured under root-restricted conditions in DFT systems and their growth and nutritional values were investigated. Cylindrical plastic tubes 100 mm tall and 20, 25, and 30 mm in diameter were used for root restriction. Growth of all the species was retarded, as the roots were restricted. Pak-choi and edible chrysanthemum showed the greater reduction in growth compared with chicory and endive. Percentage of dry matter, C:N ratio, and ascorbic acid and anthocyanin contents increased in the root-restricted treatments. Changes in mineral contents as affected by root restriction were not consistent among tested species. Optimized root volumes to improve the nutritional values and to reduce the retarding of growth varied according to species of leafy vegetables. Tubes of Φ25mm × 10cm and Φ30mm × 10 cm gave the best results in chicory, endive, and lettuce, and edible chrysanthemum and pak-choi, respectively. Results indicate that nutritional values of hydroponically cultured leafy vegetables can be improved by root restriction using plastic tubes.

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Postharvest handling, storage, and processing greatly affect retention and bioavailability of nutrients in horticultural food crops. Although there are a few exceptions, concentrations of most nutrients are reduced by all postharvest operations. Losses of certain nutrients may range from 5% to 100%, depending on their chemical stability, solubility, and postharvest treatment. Therefore, the amount of a particular nutrient in a horticultural food at the time of harvest may not reflect the amount present when the raw or cooked food is consumed. Most vitamins are susceptible to oxidation catalyzed by enzymes, light, pro-oxidant metals, and active oxygen species. Also, nutrient retention and stability are affected by heat, leaching, and certain preservatives, such as sulfites. Physical injuries during handling, processing, and preparation for consumption accelerate vitamin degradation. Therefore, nutrient losses may be very large in minimally processed and food service products that are marketed in peeled, sliced, or shredded forms. Other processing methods, such as dehydration, fermentation, freezing, and canning usually result in significant losses in nutrient concentrations. Although processing generally contributes to loss of nutrient content of foods, certain processing methods improve the bioavailability of some minerals and vitamins, which may increase the actual nutritional value of the food. Methods to reduce inhibitors and antagonists of nutrient availability should receive major emphasis in efforts to improve nutritional value, along with efforts to improve the amount and retention of nutrients in horticultural food crops.

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to assess the short-term effects of vermicompost as soil amendments or leachate on soil properties, and spinach growth, physiology, and nutritional value. Materials and Methods Plant materials and treatments. Two trials, each with four replications

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foods is an important quality indicator in evaluating the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Amino acids are another important type of biologically active compound. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and polypeptides, and the

Open Access

Foods from plants can provide enough energy and essential nutrients for maintaining human health as well as for prevention of many serious diseases. Many exotic vegetables are known for their special nutritional and medicinal properties. Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia L.), an annual vegetable of Cucurbitaceae family, is found to be one of the important vegetables of special nutritional and medicinal qualities. Germplasm lines and land races of Bitter Melon were evaluated in 2000 and 2001 for their adaptability in Southeast Arkansas. Seven adaptable lines/varieties were tested in replicated field trials for productivity at the Univ. of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Agricultural Research Center in 2002 and 2003. Melons were harvested at their marketable stages beginning in June and ending in September for yield estimation. Nutritional qualities of Bitter Melons were examined by chemical analyses conducted at the Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF) Food Science Laboratory. Analyses for antioxidants and other compounds as well as cooking qualities are currently underway. Several recipes have been tasted for consumer acceptance. The popular belief of bitter melon to improve glucose tolerance in Type II diabetes and lower blood cholesterol are being investigated. It is still to be determined if the chemical constituents such as certain alkaloids and polypeptides found in bitter melons are effective individually or in combination.

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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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consumers with products with high nutritional value. Materials and Methods Plant material. In 2013, Morello sour cherries were collected from 41 individual scattered trees growing in different locations in the region of Umbria in central Italy. None of the

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