Pterocarpus marsupium is a popular spice incorporated into culinary preparations around the world, which is also used for its antidiabetic treatment in traditional medicine. The objective of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant and starch hydrolase inhibitory properties of Pterocarpus marsupium leaves. The total antioxidant capacity, total phenolics content, starch hydrolase inhibitory activities and superoxide dismutase mimetic (SODm) activity of various leaf extracts of Pterocarpus marsupium were studied. Extracts of dichloromethane (DCM), ethanol (EtOH), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), hexane (HEX), methanol (MeOH) and water were compared. The total phenolics contents of the extracts decreased in the order of water > EtOH > EtOAc > MeOH > DCM > HEX. The antioxidant and SODm activity values of the extracts decreased in the same order as the total phenolics contents, while the DPPH EC50 values increased in the reverse order. Pterosupin and pterostilbene had the highest content out of all the phenolic compounds quantified across all solvent extracts. The highest starch hydrolase inhibitory activities were observed in the water extract. Pterocarpus marsupium was observed to be a good source of antioxidant compounds and therapeutic properties.
“Wonderful” pomegranates can be stored under modified atmosphere (MA) conditions for up to 3–4 months after harvest. Until recently, the harvested fruit first needed to be transferred to the packing house and packed in MA bags in cartons or plastic boxes before cooling to the desired temperature and subsequent cold storage. During the last few years, together with StePac Ltd, we have developed a new methodology in which “Wonderful” pomegranate fruit are directly harvested into large 80 kg or even 320 kg bulk Xtend® MA bags in harvest bins, and then immediately transferred from the field to commercial cold storage rooms without the necessity of repacking the fruit at the packing house. In this study, we evaluated the postharvest storage performance and fruit quality of “Wonderful” pomegranates stored in bulk 80 kg Xtend® MA bags in harvest bins for various periods of 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks at 7 °C followed by 1 week in shelf life conditions at 20 °C. The results show that “Wonderful” pomegranates can be maintained in bulk Xtend® MA bags in harvest bins at excellent quality with minimal losses for at least 12 weeks after harvest. Overall, this new suggested procedure allows direct transfer of large volumes of fruit from the field to cold storage rooms without intermediate transferring to the packing house, thus saving precious time and extra packaging and labor costs, and ensuring better maintenance of the cold storage chain.
Ripening parameters of newly released apricot cultivars (“Nitzan” and “Daniel”) are characterized and compared to an old local cultivar (“Mustakaui”), which is a white fleshed, sweeter, and smaller fruit, with a shorter shelf life. In 2 consecutive years, at harvest, we examined total soluble solids (TSS) and total acidity (TA) and, during postharvest, chlorophyll and firmness loss, and ethylene and carbon dioxide production rates. Our results show that “Mustakaui” is indeed sweeter and has a lower total acidity content than the other cultivars. However, “Mustakaui” has a similar rate of chlorophyll and firmness loss as the new cultivars. Despite similar rates of chlorophyll and firmness loss, “Mustakaui” produces the highest levels of carbon dioxide and “Daniel” produces the highest ethylene levels. “Nitzan”, on the other hand, did not produce any ethylene in 2 consecutive years, which suggests that another ripening control mechanism exists in this cultivar. Hence, the new cultivars might harbor different ripening programs in comparison to the old “Mustakaui” cultivar. Comparing the levels of volatiles in “Mustakaui” and “Nitzan” indicates that they share the capacity to produce similar volatiles, but these are produced differently in tree-ripened or postharvest-ripened fruits. Variability in volatiles might be useful for any future breeding programs for aroma.
A list of lichen species collected in the Jewish cemeteries in Podlasie in northeastern Poland is presented. In total, 83 species have been recorded. They include epilithic (53 species), epiphytic (28) and epigeic (11) lichens. Eleven species belong to the group of threatened lichens in Poland (Evernia prunastri, Hypogymnia tubulosa, Psilolechia lucida, Ramalina fraxinea, Rhizocarpon grande, Rh. lavatum, Rh. petraeum, Stereocaulon condensatum, S. tomentosum, Xanthoparmelia pulla, X. verruculifera). The Jewish cemeteries are the sole occurrence for rare lichen species in northeastern Poland such as Rhizocarpon grande and Rh. lavatum.
Grafting is a rapid, effective alternative to the relatively slow methodology of breeding, to provide crop plants with increased tolerance to environmental stress and better yield and quality of fruit vegetables. We evaluated the effect of grafting and soil disinfestation on pre- and postharvest parameters in two consecutive years. In both 2013 and 2014, soil disinfection significantly improved the viability of nongrafted plants compared to the same plants grown in nontreated soil. In both years, plants which were grafted on “Nurit” or “TZ” rootstocks showed significantly better vine vigor, with no evidence of disease in either disinfested or nontreated soil. The yield of marketable watermelon fruit was significantly higher in grafted versus nongrafted plants. Grafting significantly influenced watermelon rind color and flesh color, and strongly influenced taste and texture. Watermelon fruit harvested from plants grafted on “Nurit” were tastier and had better flesh texture than fruit harvested from “TZ”-grafted plants. Disinfection during those two years affected only seed formation. The year factor highly influenced rind color, total soluble solids (TSS) near the rind, TSS at the fruit's heart, taste, and texture. An interaction between grafting and year was found on flesh and TSS near the rind. No grafting × disinfection × year interaction was found.