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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1012: VII International Postharvest Symposium

CONTRIBUTION OF MOLECULAR BIOTECHNOLOGY AND ANALYTICAL APPROACHES TO UNDERSTANDING AND ENHANCING THE BIO-FORTIFICATION OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS WITH HEALTH-PROMOTING SUBSTANCES

Authors:   A.K. Kanellis, G.A. Manganaris
Keywords:   ascorbic acid, antioxidant potency, candidate genes, metabolomics, phytochemicals
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1012.107
Abstract:
Fruit and vegetables constitute a rich source of bioactive compounds with health-promoting properties. Therefore, apart from acceptable qualitative and sensorial attributes, horticultural commodities with proven high nutritional and bioactive content are gaining a significant place in the market. Interestingly, apart from the significant differences in bioactive compounds among different commodities, great variability within cultivars/genotypes of the same species have been monitored, with special reference to ‘forgotten’ and/or indigenous cultivars; such differences may also be attributed to environmental factors and/or to different postharvest treatments. The understanding of bio-fortification enhancement in horticultural crops with health-promoting substances is of prime importance. In the current study, particular attention is given to a special tomato cultivar, grown in the island of Santorini, Greece that has been used together with the model cultivar ‘Ailsa Craig’ for comparative purposes with the aim to further elucidate and simultaneously enhance vitamin C content in tomato fruits. Further, this communication underlines the necessity of the employment of state-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic methodologies in order to define the phytochemical composition of fresh produce. Lastly, the fingerprinting of fruit extracts via frequently applied efficient protocols coupled with system biology approaches may shed further light in the elucidation of such properties with the aim of enhancing their bioactive content.

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