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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1242: III International Symposium on Horticulture in Europe - SHE2016

Biochemical characterization of leaves, burs and shells of 'Bouche de Bétizac' chestnut cultivar

Authors:   B. Laratta, F.M. Vella, L. De Masi, A. Morana, F. La Cara
Keywords:   Castanea sativa, Castanea crenata, chestnut hybrid, agrobiodiversity, polyphenols, antioxidant activity
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1242.84
‘Bouche de Bétizac’ is a Euro-Japanese chestnut hybrid (Castanea sativa × C. crenata) and, even if it is pollen sterile, it is consistently a high yield cultivar producing big nuts. It is well-adapted to growth in Europe, North America and Asia where it was demonstrated to survive in cold season conditions. Many extracts from different chestnut tissues might be used for human health and disease prevention. In fact, it has been demonstrated that chestnut contains phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties and, several of them, with antibacterial action. The aim of this work was to perform a biochemical characterization of phenolics contained in leaves, burs and shells (outer and inner) of ‘Bouche de Bétizac’ from an orchard located in the “Roccamonfina - Foce Garigliano” Regional Park (southern Italy). The extracts from all chestnut components were evaluated for the antioxidant power, total phenolic, ortho-diphenolic, tannin, and flavonoid contents to assess the presence of bioactive molecules. The results showed that inner shells possess twice the antioxidant activity of the other chestnut components and the highest phenolic compounds content, followed by leaves, burs and outer shells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the biochemical characterization of the ‘Bouche de Bétizac’ hybrid. Although it represents a putative threat for the biodiversity of Italian chestnut cultivars, considering its resistance to several pests and diseases, and the great capacity of adaptation to a wide range of climate conditions, the results obtained are very promising.

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