Colour components of different table beet varieties

Information of the total pigment content of table beet roots is not sufficient enough to estimate their suitability to processing. Differences in the occurrence of the red pigment components of different thermostability determine the mode of processing of the varieties. Pigment extraction methods which require heat treatment (e.g. table beet root powder) need raw materials of higher betanin content.

Of the tested varieties — Bonel, Nero, Favorit, Rubin and Detroit — Bonel and Favorit had the highest betanin content (50.03 and 49.53 mg/100g, respectively).

The isobetanin quantity varies according to varieties (13.10-26.62 mg/100g). Values between 2.92-6.63 mg/100g and 0.96-2.96 mg/100g. respectively were found for betanidin and isobetanidin.

Data revealed the highest BC/BX ratio in the variety Rubin (2.08) indicating good inner colour in sensory tests. However, the high total pigment content (81.01 mg/I00g) was associated with lower betanin content (46,26 mg/100g) and at the same time, with higher isobetanin (25.16 mg/100g), betanidin (6.63 mg/100g) and isobetanidin (2.96 nig/100g) contents. Out of the tested varieties Nero had the lowest total red pigment content (57.43 mg/100g) but the relative betanin value was the highest with nearly 70 %.

Laboratory testing of the table beet root varieties will be required to find the most suitable material to produce colouring agents.


The effect of drying process on the pigment content and composition of table beet varieties

The food industry requires natural colouring agents in increasing quantities. Beet root is highly adapted to this purpose with its red (betacyanin) and yellow (betaxanthin) pigments suitable for numerous products. The two pigments are, however, very heat-sensitive depending not only on the method of drying as well. In our experiment we tested 6 table beet varieties with vacuum drying (instrument: Eurovac KIT-150) and obtained very big differences in the suitability of varieties for drying. The less colour loss was measured in Bordó (16.84%), while Rubin and Cylindra indicated 45.15 and 47.18% loss respectively. During the drying raw material with higher colour content produced higher rate of pigment loss (r = 0.880). In our experiment we found adverse effects on colour material and dry matter content in the fresh beet root. The variety with higher solids (mainly sugar) resulted in higher pigment loss (r = -0.847) during the vacuum drying process. Furthermore, we stated that the yellow pigments (betaxanthin) were less heat sensitive during drying than the red (betacyanin) ones. For the production of beet root powder varieties of high pigment content but low water soluble solids content (sugar) are needed.

Obtention of new ornamental leaf variants of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) originated from somatic embryogenesis and their photosynthetic parameters

Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial rhizomatous herbaceous plant, it has been widespread all over the world by human activities. It is a 2-8 meter high, polyploid, sterile species (not produce viable seeds), it can be propagated only by vegetative methods (rhizomes, stem cuttings, in vitro biotechnological methods). It has considered promising dedicated energy crop thanks to high biomass production (20-40 dry tons per hectare depending on microclimate), adaptability of different kind of soils and environment and low energy input required for its cultivation. It has been utilized for energetic purposes, biogas/bioethanol production, cellulose/paper production and ornamental purposes. The objectives of the present study were to determine morphological properties of new ornamental giant reed leaf variants originated from somatic embryogenesis and to evaluate their photosynthetic pigment content and photosynthetic activities. The most typical changes was the appearance of different colour (white, yellow, light green) longitudinal stripes on leaves (also on petiole and on leaf blade). It was significant differences (p<0.05) between green and leaf variants in case of photosynthetic pigments content and photosynthetic activity (Fv/Fm value). There was no detectable chlorophyll a or b content in the white bands of leaves and albino shoots. Total chlorophyll content of the white striped leaf variety was more than twice than the light green leaves. Photosynthetic activity and content of photosynthetic pigments also confirm and determine the morphological characteristics and growth habit of leaf variants.

Effects of environmental factors on morphological and quality parameters of table beet root

In our trial morphological and quality parameters of 15 table root varieties were tested at 3 different sowing dates: 15 April, 9 July and 19 August 2010. In the trials the root shape of the varieties form the April sowing date approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length –1.0) which is favoured both by fresh market and the processing industry. In the July and August sowings the roots were elongated with reduced proportions. The highest red pigment content (betacyanin) was observed in the second sowing of July (>80 mg/100 g). In the late sowing (August, under plastic tent) a further 10–20 mg/100 g pigment increase was measured in relation to the earlier sowing dates of the same varieties. A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthis) which proves a close correlation between the quantities of the 2 pigments (r=0.823). The highest vulgaxanthin content (103.3–124.18 mg/100 g) was obtained form roots of the late sowing harvested in December. Varieties reacted differently to temperature and so to sugar accumulation in the different sowing periods. In the July sowing higher water soluble solids content was measured on the mean of varieties (10.12 %) as compared to the April sowing (7.76%). Sensory evaluations included inner colour intensity (1–5), with ring (1–3) and taste (1–5) of the raw material evaluated by scoring. According to laboratory measurements better inner colour intensity was observed in the July and August sowing dates. In these samples uniformly coloured, almost with, ring-free roots were obtained. In our trial varieties from the spring sowing had superior taste. Early sowing is recommended for fresh market sale while the second crop (July) harvested in autumn can satisfy processing requirements. In the late sowing (under unheated plastic tent) fresh beet root can be grown at the end of autumn or beginning of winter, thus prolonging the usability of plastic tents.

Correlation between pigment contents and FRAP values in beet root (Beta vulgaris ssp. esculents var. rubra)

It is well known that beetroot quality is determined mainly by the red pigment content (betacyanins) and its uniformity of the root. The effect of the most important red pigment components (betanin). the total polyphenol content and antioxidants were studied in 20 beet root varieties. Antioxidants were expressed in FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) values in pM/I.

Our results indicated a close correlation (r = 0.7799 and r = 0.7435. respectively) between betanin and total polyphenol contents of the root as well as between FRAP values.

Our measurements showed more than threefold differences in total antioxidant activity among varieties. the lowest value being 196.4 13M/1 and highest 702.57 pM/I. The corresponding betanin (16.3 and 57.8 mg/100 ml) and total polyphenol (37.5 and 85.5 mg/100 ml respectively) contents show similar differences. Based on our results it can be stated that varieties of higher betanin and poliphenol contents have higher antioxidant values as well.

Accordingly, the two compounds must have a role in the evolution of antioxidant effects.

Evaluation of morphological parameters and bioactive compounds in different varieties of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. esculenta GURKE var. rubra L.)

Beetroot consumption based on pickled beets generally in Hungary which is due to the higher yield from second crop harvested in autumn and processed by manufacturing industry. Researches of the past years confirmed its favourable nutritional-physiological effects on human body so demands, as for fresh salad, also increased. The trial aimed at testing the interaction of varieties on quality parameters and in the same time suggestions are made how to use different varieties of beetroot according to its quality. Morphological and sensory evaluations were examined on 10 varieties of beetroot harvested in autumn. The regular spherical shape can reduce the refining loss during the processing of beetroot which is beneficial for the manufacturing industry. In our trial the root shape of Libero, Mona Lisa and Rubin varieties approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length – 1.0) which is favoured by not only processing industry but also fresh market. The highest red pigment content (betanin) was observed in Mona Lisa, Akela and Cylindra (34.58–47.66 mg/100 g). A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthins) which proves the close correlation between the quantities of the two pigments (r=0.898). Highest total polyphenol (77.13–83.37 mg GAE/100g) and flavonoid (21.73–22.73 mg CE/100g) contents were detected in Akela, Mona Lisa and Bonel. These varieties are favourable for fresh salad and they can satisfy processing requirements also. Highest water soluble solids content was found in Akela (7.15%). In our conditions nitrate (NO3-N) values below 900 mg/kg were examined in all of the varieties which is favourable in the case of beetroot.

Ultrastructural and biochemical aspects of normal and hyperhydric eucalypt

Hyperhydricity was observed throughout in vitro multiplication phase of a Eucalyptus grandis clone. Ultrastructural approach of tissue and cell differentiation, izoenzyme patterns, binding protein (BiP) expression, and pigment content were performed. Hyperhydric tissues showed a reduction in cell wall deposition, reduction of membranous organelles, higher cell vacuolation, and more intercellular spaces than its normal counterpart. Additionally, several vesicles were present in hyperhydric cells suggesting the occurrence of organelle autophagy by autophagic vacuole. Lower pigment content, intercellular spaces on the epidermis and the induction of a molecular chaperone (BiP) were observed in hyperhydric phenotype. Evidences of schizolysigenous process of intercellular space formation are compatible with a stress condition. Although plastoglobulli were observed in normal and hyperhydric chloroplasts, they were more evident in the normal ones. Abnormal stomata also reflected a disruptive situation and morphogenesis disturbances which would difficult plant acclimatization. Further observation of the epidermis ultrastructure allows us to conclude that the presence of intercellular spaces on its surface may be constraining the recovery and development of hyperhydric plants. Similarly to BiP, other proteins such as esterase (EST), acid phosphatase (ACP), malate dehydrogenase (MDH) and peroxidase (PDX) are possible to be used as stress markers in in vitro conditions. Our results confirm earlier findings about negative effects of hyperhydricity on in vitro plant morphogenesis and ultrastructure, which in eucalypt is associated with a stressful condition contributing to lower propagation ratios.

Carotenoid composition and content in products of sea buckthorn and peach as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography

A study was conducted to analyse the carotenoids by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using reversed-phase cross linked end-capping and to study the pigment content and composition in sea buckthorn products as well as in freshly harvested fruits from peach thees grown under organic and integrated farming conditions. It was found that carotenoids in fruits of both crops occur mainly esterified with fatty acids in form of mono- and di-esters. The major carotenoids were esters of zeaxanthin, lutein, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene. The major carotenoids showed different response to processing of sea buckthorn being highly sensitive to thermal treatments such as blanching, cooking and drying. Significant differences were found between peach varieties in their carotenoid content, whereas the impact of organic farming on carotenoids formation was found to be variety-dependent. Two of the three varieties examined in this work, when cultivated under organic farming conditions contained lower carotenoid level as compared to that found in the fruits of the same varieties but produced in integrated farms.

Sunburn assessment: A critical appraisal of methods and techniques for characterizing the damage to apple fruit

Many methods and techniques have been introduced for measuring alterations in the fruit and in its surrounding environment related to sunburn incidence. The research objectives, fruit materials and the environment to be evaluated dictate the methods to follow. These procedures are either non-destructive and involve techniques that allow us to track the course of sunburn development and related environmental parameters, or destructive and involve the removal of fruit from the tree for field/laboratory measurements. Techniques employed can be used for pre-symptomatic monitoring (before symptoms become visible) or characterizing the symptoms already present. The principles behind the measurements and their usefulness for sunburn assessments are discussed and critically evaluated in this review paper. Descriptions and evaluations of the methods and techniques were made in the following groups: 1. Thermal measurements; 2. Visual assessments; 3. Fruit quality measurements; 4. Measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations; and 5. Practical evaluation of sunburn damage. Thermal measurements involve methods tracking the ambient temperature and fruit surface temperature, and their relation to sunburn formation. Visual assessments cover all measuring techniques (skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, radiation reflection, electron microscopy) that are able to detect changes on/in the fruit skin related to sunburn formation. Fruit quality measurements are used to point out differences in qualities (soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, and water content) between unaffected and sunburned areas of the fruit. The measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations (gas exchange, pigment analysis, enzyme activity, gene expression) give us a better insight to the mechanism of sunburn formation. Practical evaluations involve many procedures that are used by scientists to characterize the susceptibility of cultivars, evaluate protection technology, etc. For this purpose, the following methods are in use: expressing the percentage of the total fruit surface area affected by sunburn or the percentage of the total number of fruits damaged on the tree, or even a scale based on the severity of the symptoms occurred. All assessing methods and techniques described here have their pros and cons as well as their specific applicability, therefore any of these cannot be favored to use exclusively for assessing sunburn incidence. The combination of these techniques will be the best choice to meet a given research objective perfectly.

Effect of hydroponic and peat-free media in transplant production of Rudbeckia hirta varieties under different photoperiodic lighting and their photosynthetic parameters

The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of varieties, different light conditions (short day, long day, natural short day with light pollution), and different growing media (perlite, peat-free, peat-based, aeroponics system) on Rudbeckia hirta plant production under controlled conditions (greenhouse). The morphological effects of each treatment (photoperiodic lightings and media) on different Rudbeckia varieties determined at 11 weeks-old ’Napfény’, ’Toto Gold’, ’Autumn Colors’, ’Prairie Sun’ and 16 weeks-old ’Napfény’. Plantlets received 12 hours daylight did not initiate flowers, remained stage of the leaf rosette in case of all varieties. The 14 hours light treatment in the aeroponics system and the same treatment in perlite and control (natural short day with 14 hours light pollution) plantlets had developed inflorescences or flower buds. The inflorescence axis of ‘Napfény’ was appeared at 13 weeks under long-day conditions, with 1.7 (perlite) - 2.7 (aeroponics) flower buds in 16 weeks. ’Toto Gold’, ’Autumn Colors’, ’Prairie Sun’ varieties developed inflorescences at 8 weeks, 14 hours aeroponics system resulted in the most of flower buds (’Toto Gold’: 6.5, ’Autumn Colors’: 3.25,’Prairie Sun’: 4.8 flower buds) at 11 weeks. Long daylight manipulation could be minimized crop times and achieved flowering potted plants at 11 weeks. The peat-based and peat-free media effect was observed on ‘Autumn Colors’. The number of leaves of peat-free ‘Autumn Colors’ transplants (16.8-20.3) was significantly higher than peat-based media (13.5-15.5). Other morphological parameters were not affected by the media treatments.

The effect of potassium fertilization on the inner values of spice pepper

To reserve the fertility of soil is the basic condition of successful cultivation. The field specific nutrient supply, based on soil tests is very important in both economy and ecology aspects. Spice pepper plants have high nutrient demands. Proper nutrient supply has importance not only from the point of potential yield levels, but make a major contribution to quality. This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of nutrient supply as an the elements of the production technology. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this job through our nutrient trials. Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2005 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser closes with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that higher K doses lead to increased yields, and the influence on dry matter and pigment content proved beneficial too. Potassium applied in the form of patentkali seemed to be better than in that of potassium-sulphate.

Role of nutrient supply in yield increase and quality improvement of spice pepper

Hungarian spice pepper powder is a unique product, a real hungaricum with its flavour and aroma compounds and seasoning effect. Its competitiveness with foreign spice peppers is ensured by its high biological value deriving from the specially Hungarian production and processing technology. Besides the traditional and highly manual labour intensive processing technology, there are some modern industrial technologies as well, where high quality can be guaranteed only by producing excellent base material (raw pepper pods). This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of the elements of the production technology, such as nutrient supply. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this aim by our trials in plant nutrition.

Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2003 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser doses with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that the increase of N:K ratio from I:1 to 1:6 did not increase yields, but resulted in higher pigment and dry matter content. Microelement top dressing had a yield increasing effect at each N:K ratio. Higher potassium doses did not accelerate ripening.