Color change of fruit-based products during storage is an important quality parameter to determine their shelf life. In this study, a combination of relative humidity (RH) and illumination was evaluated on the stability of strawberry leathers. Samples were conditioned at 25 °C, in chambers with RH of 22.5% and 52.3% and under two levels of illumination (no illumination and with a light-emitting diode (LED) illumination at 1010 lx). Samples were analyzed during storage by instrumental color measurements, total anthocyanin content, and consumers’ acceptance/rejection of the product color. Current-status survival analysis was performed to estimate the sensory-based shelf-life of the strawberry leather. The chromatic parameters (a* and ΔE* values) and anthocyanin content changed with increasing storage time and RH, fitting a first-order fractional conversion model. Samples conditioned at the higher RH showed a higher reduction of a* values and anthocyanins losses when stored under LED illumination than those without illumination. The increase of RH resulted in a faster increase of the consumer rejection probability and a shorter shelf life of the strawberry leather. For 50% of consumers’ rejection, the sensory shelf life of the strawberry leather equilibrated at 22.5% RH was estimated as at least 54 days, while it was reduced to approximately 2 days at 52.3% RH. The red chromatic parameter (a* value) strongly correlated to the percentage of consumer rejection in all storage conditions, suggesting that this analytical parameter can be useful as a predictor of strawberry leather’s shelf life. Therefore, the results of this study show the applicability of an approach that integrates instrumental and sensory data to acquire faster information on color changes during the storage of strawberry leather and product shelf-life prediction.
Strawberry is a nutrient-rich and important small fruit because of its high content of beneficial phytochemicals and several vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin B6. However, strawberry is highly perishable due to its susceptibility to mechanical damage, microbiological decay, and softening in texture. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in using various essential oils as natural food preservatives. Although, they have limited stability to exposure to high temperatures, light and oxygen, which could eventually affect sensory quality attributes. The electrospinning method is a simple and well-organized process that has been used to encapsulate essential oils. In this study, the effect of thyme essential oil (TEO) encapsulated into zein electrospun fiber film was assessed on extending the shelf life and preserving the quality of strawberry fruit during storage.
Results indicated that TEO presented potent antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus fumigatus. The scanning electron microscopy images of zein fiber had a linear shape, absence of beads, and smooth surface. The encapsulation efficiency (EE) of TEO in the zein fiber was about 75.23%. Encapsulated TEO released at a slower rate than free TEO. The zein/TEO fibers (zein fiber film loaded with TEO) significantly (p ˂ 0.05) decreased weight loss and maintained the anthocyanin content, firmness and color of the strawberries during storage. After 15 days of storage, weight loss reduced about 15% and firmness was higher about 20% in packed fruit with zein/TEO fibers compared to control.
Interestingly, after 15 days of cold storage, the strawberries firmness, appearance, and sensory evaluation, which are important quality factors from both postharvest and consumers’ viewpoint, in zein/TEO fiber treatment were acceptable and had higher scores compared to the control. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated the benefits of incorporating TEO into zein films, which could play a significant role in the active packaging and preservation of strawberry fruits.
Busulfan is currently an indispensable anti-cancer drug, but the side effects on male reproductive system are so serious. Meanwhile, red-fleshed apples are natural products with high anthocyanin content. In this research, we analyzed the effect of red-fleshed apple anthocyanin extract (RAAE) on busulfan-treated mice. Compared with the busulfan group, main plasma biochemical indicators were significantly improved after RAAE treatment. Compared with BA0 (busulfan without RAAE) group, total antioxidant capacity(T-AOC) and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione catalase (GSH-Px) in RAAE treatment groups were obviously increased, while the activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were significantly decreased. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was significantly decreased in the RAAE groups. In addition, we found RAAE alleviated busulfan-disrupted spermatogenesis through improving genes expression which are important for spermatogenesis, such as DDX4, PGK2, and TP1. Furthermore, we found that RAAE increased beneficial bacteria Akkermansia and Lactobacillaceae, and significantly depleted harmful bacteria Erysipelotrichia. The correlation studies indicated that RAAE ameliorated busulfan-induced rise in LysoPC levels through regulating gut microbial community and their associated metabolites. In conclusion, this study extends our understanding of the alleviated effect of RAAE on busulfan-induced male reproductive dysfunction through regulating the relationships between gut microbiota and metabolites.
AbstractLight-emitting diodes (LEDs) are an artificial light source used in indoor cultivation to influence plant growth, photosynthesis performance and secondary metabolite synthesis. Holy basil plants (Ocimum tenuiflorum) were cultivated under fully controlled environmental conditions with different red (R) and blue (B) light intensity ratios (3R:1B, 1R:1B and 1R:3B), along with combined green (G) LED (2R:1G:2B). The photosynthetic activities of both cultivars were maximal under 3R:1B. However, the highest fresh (FW) and dry (DW) weight values of green holy basil were recorded under 3R:1B and 2R:1G:2B, significantly higher than those under alternative light conditions. For red holy basil, the highest FW and DW were recorded under 1R:3B. Moreover, 2R:1G:2B treatment promoted pigment (chlorophyll and carotenoid) accumulation in green holy basil, while red holy basil was found to be rich in both pigments under 3R:1B. Antioxidant capacity was also influenced by light spectrum, resulting in greater total phenolic content (TPC) and DPPH accumulation in both cultivars under 1R:3B. The highest content of flavonoid in green holy basil was detected under 1R:1B; meanwhile, 1R:3B treatment significantly promoted flavonoid content in red holy basil. In addition, anthocyanin content increased in red holy basil under 1R:3B conditions. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC–MS/MS) analysis of chemical composition showed higher proportional accumulation in Methyleugenol and Caryophyllene of two cultivars grown under all light spectrum ratios at two developmental stages. Overall, specific light spectrum ratios induced different chemical composition responses in each cultivar and at each developmental stage. These results suggest that 3R:1B was favorable for biomass accumulation and photosynthetic responses in green holy basil, while 1R:3B provided antioxidant accumulation. For red holy basil cultivation, 1R:3B provided optimal growing conditions, promoting improvements in plant biomass, and physiological and antioxidant capacities.
Anthocyanin accumulation in vacuoles results in red coloration in pear peels. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) proteins have emerged as important regulators of anthocyanin accumulation. Here, a total of 57 PcGST genes were identified in the European pear ‘Bartlett’ (Pyrus communis) through comprehensive genomic analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that PcGST genes were divided into 10 subfamilies. The gene structure, chromosomal localization, collinearity relationship, cis-elements in the promoter region, and conserved motifs of PcGST genes were analyzed. Further research indicated that glutamic acid (Glu) can significantly improve anthocyanin accumulation in pear peels. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis showed that Glu induced the expression of most PcGST genes, among which PcGST57 was most significantly induced. Further phylogenetic analysis indicated that PcGST57 was closely related to GST genes identified in other species, which were involved in anthocyanin accumulation. Transcript analysis indicated that PcGST57 was expressed in various tissues, other than flesh, and associated with peel coloration at different developmental stages. Silencing of PcGST57 by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) inhibited the expression of PcGST57 and reduced the anthocyanin content in pear fruit. In contrast, overexpression of PcGST57 improved anthocyanin accumulation. Collectively, our results demonstrated that PcGST57 was involved in anthocyanin accumulation in pear and provided candidate genes for red pear breeding.
Fast growth and rapid turnover is an important crop trait in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) due to its high cost. An ideal screening approach for fast-growing cultivars should detect desirable phenotypes non-invasively at an early growth stage, based on morphological and/or physiological traits. Hence, we established a rapid screening protocol based on a simple chlorophyll fluorescence imaging (CFI) technique to quantify the projected canopy size (PCS) of plants, combined with electron transport rate (ETR) measurements using a chlorophyll fluorometer. Eleven lettuce cultivars (Lactuca sativa), selected based on morphological differences, were grown in a greenhouse and imaged twice a week. Shoot dry weight (DW) of green cultivars at harvest 51 days after germination (DAG) was correlated with PCS at 13 DAG (R2 = 0.74), when the first true leaves had just appeared and the PCS was <8.5 cm2. However, early PCS of high anthocyanin (red) cultivars was not predictive of DW. Because light absorption by anthocyanins reduces the amount of photons available for photosynthesis, anthocyanins lower light use efficiency (LUE; DW/total incident light on canopy over the cropping cycle) and reduce growth. Additionally, the total incident light on the canopy throughout the cropping cycle explained 90% and 55% of variability in DW within green and red cultivars, respectively. Estimated leaf level ETR at a photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 200 or 1000 µmol m−2 s−1 were not correlated with DW in either green or red cultivars. In conclusion, early PCS quantification is a useful tool for the selection of fast-growing green lettuce phenotypes. However, this approach may not work in cultivars with high anthocyanin content because anthocyanins direct excitation energy away from photosynthesis and growth, weakening the correlation between incident light and growth.
Antioxidants are privileged candidates for the development of adjuvants able to improve the efficiency of pharmacological therapies, particularly for chronic inflammatory syndromes. During the last 20 years, anti-TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) monoclonal antibodies infusion has been the biological therapy most frequently administered but there is still large space for improvement in disease remission rates and maintenance. In this context, nutritional bioactive compounds contained in dietary patterns or included as supplements, may act as adjuvants for the induction and maintenance of IBD (inflammatory bowel diseases) remission. To verify this possibility, a single-center preliminary study (SI-CURA, Soluzioni Innovative per la gestione del paziente e il follow up terapeutico della Colite UlceRosA) was designed and carried out to evaluate whether a daily administration of purple corn supplement could improve the response to Infliximab (IFX) infusion of IBD patients with both Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). A cohort of 47 patients was enrolled in the study. Biological samples were collected before the first and the third IFX infusion. All patients received nutritional guidelines, 27 of them received commercial red fruit tea with low anthocyanins content, while 20 received a purple corn supplement with a high anthocyanin content. Results show that the administration of an antioxidant-enriched purple corn supplement could improve IFX-mediated disease remission in terms of circulating inflammatory markers. Comparison between CD and UC patients revealed that, at this anthocyanin dosage, the purple corn extract administration improved the IFX response in CD but not in UC patients. Our results may pave the way for a new metacentric study of CD patients, recruiting a wider cohort and followed-up over a longer observational time.
Flesh color (FC), skin color (SC), and anthocyanin content (AC) are three important traits being used for commodity evaluation in purple-fleshed sweet potato. However, to date, only a few reports are available on the inheritance of these traits. In this study, we used a biparental mapping population of 274 F1 progeny generated from a cross between a dark purple-fleshed (Xuzishu8) and white-fleshed (Meiguohong) sweet potato variety for genetic analyses. Correlation analysis showed a significant positive correlation among AC, SC, and FC. Medium-to-high heritability was observed for these traits. We detected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by specific length amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) with the average sequencing depth of 51.72 and 25.76 for parents and progeny, respectively. Then we constructed an integrated genetic map consisting of 15 linkage groups (LGS) of sweet potato spanning on 2,233.66 cm with an average map distance of 0.71 cm between adjacent markers. Based on the linkage map, ten major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated to FC, SC, and AC were identified on LG12 between 0 and 64.97 cm distance, such as one QTL for SC and FC, respectively, which explained 36.3 and 45.9% of phenotypic variation; eight QTLs for AC, which explained 10.5–28.5% of the variation. These major QTLs were highly consistent and co-localized on LG12. Positive correlation, high heritability, and co-localization of QTLs on the same LG group confirm the significance of this study to establish a marker-assisted breeding program for sweet potato improvement.
AbstractPurple waxy corn is a good source of antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanins and polyphenols. Promotion of its use requires an appropriate assay to determine antioxidant activity. The aim of this study is to verify compatibility of the antioxidant activity assays by comparing five different assays in daily kernel samples of the fresh purple waxy corn during grain filling. The levels of antioxidants measured by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, ferric reducing antioxidant power, and chemiluminescence showed significant positive correlations with the levels measured by the other assays (r = 0.761–0.893; p < 0.01) and with anthocyanin content (r = 0.798–0.924; p < 0.01). Reducing capacity of 2,2ʹ-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and total phenolic content also showed significant correlations (r = 0.764; p < 0.01). However, during late grain filling, the levels of antioxidants measured by all methods showed strong correlations with each other (r > 0.699; p < 0.05). The inconsistencies among the measurements are largely dependent on the developmental stage of the corn kernel. The combination of at least two assays is required to ensure reliable antioxidant activity estimates, especially for early grain-filling stages. These results will inform efforts to promote fresh purple corn as a source of antioxidants.
MicroRNA (miRNA)-mediated gene regulation is involved in various physiological processes in plants. Flower color is one of the vital ornamental traits of tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andr.). However, the yellow-flowered tree peony cultivars are particularly rare. To elucidate the miRNA-mediated gene regulatory mechanism underlying yellow pigmentation in tree peony, we combined pigment assessment, miRNA identification, expression analysis, and gene functional verification in two contrasting flower color cultivars “High Noon” and “Roufurong.” Flavones/flavonols and anthocyanins were found to be the main contributors to the coloration of “High Noon” and “Roufurong” petals, respectively. Subsequently, miRNA analysis based on available genome data identified 9 differentially expressed miRNAs and 12 relevant target genes implicated in flavonoid biosynthesis. Their dynamic expression patterns determined the key role of mdm-miR156b-PsSPL2 module in yellow pigmentation of tree peony flowers. The sequence analysis and subcellular localization validated that PsSPL2 might function as a nuclear-localized transcription factor. Overexpression of PsSPL2 in tobacco resulted in a decrease of anthocyanin content and down-regulation of NtF3′H and NtDFR transcripts. PsSPL2-silenced petals exhibited lighter yellow color, and the contents of THC, Ap, and Ch decreased significantly. Meanwhile, expression levels of PsCHS, PsCHI, and PsF3H were significantly decreased in the petals with PsSPL2 silencing, while those of PsF3′H and PsDFR were remarkably increased. This study offers a novel insight into yellow pigmentation-related miRNA regulation network in tree peony, and further provides the valuable information on physiological changes during yellow coloring process of tree peony.