The human diet is characterized by the intake of major minerals (Na, K, Ca, Mg, P, N) and trace elements (Zn, Mn, Se, Cu, Fe, Co, I, Cr, F, Pb, Cd) for their key role in many metabolic functions. Nowadays, the research of sources able to improve their intake is in continuous evolution, especially in the undeveloped countries. In this sense, wild edible herbs, commonly used since ancient times, can represent a good alternative to improve the daily human intake of minerals. In this study, four wild edible species, Rumex acetosa, Picris hieracioides, Cichorium intybus, and Plantago coronopus, were analyzed for their content in Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn and, besides, three domestications (named “soilless,” pot, and open field) were evaluated in the analyzed species in the prospective of their commercialization as valuable sources of minerals in the human diet. Nitrate and oxalate contents were also evaluated, given their negative impact on human health. Results unveil that open field domestication allowed the plants to maintain the content of major minerals similar to those measured in wild plants, especially in C. intybus and P. hieracioides. The trace elements Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn were not recorded at high content irrespectively to the wild collection or domestications. Finally, plants grown in the open field also accounted for a high oxalate and nitrate content, especially in R. acetosa. Further researches should be aimed at decreasing the oxalate and nitrate content in the domesticated species and to promote the commercialization of the domesticated species.

Evaluation of Major Minerals and Trace Elements in Wild and Domesticated Edible Herbs Traditionally Used in the Mediterranean Area

Ceccanti C.;Brizzi A.;Landi M.;Incrocci L.;Pardossi A.;Guidi L.
2021

Abstract

The human diet is characterized by the intake of major minerals (Na, K, Ca, Mg, P, N) and trace elements (Zn, Mn, Se, Cu, Fe, Co, I, Cr, F, Pb, Cd) for their key role in many metabolic functions. Nowadays, the research of sources able to improve their intake is in continuous evolution, especially in the undeveloped countries. In this sense, wild edible herbs, commonly used since ancient times, can represent a good alternative to improve the daily human intake of minerals. In this study, four wild edible species, Rumex acetosa, Picris hieracioides, Cichorium intybus, and Plantago coronopus, were analyzed for their content in Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn and, besides, three domestications (named “soilless,” pot, and open field) were evaluated in the analyzed species in the prospective of their commercialization as valuable sources of minerals in the human diet. Nitrate and oxalate contents were also evaluated, given their negative impact on human health. Results unveil that open field domestication allowed the plants to maintain the content of major minerals similar to those measured in wild plants, especially in C. intybus and P. hieracioides. The trace elements Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn were not recorded at high content irrespectively to the wild collection or domestications. Finally, plants grown in the open field also accounted for a high oxalate and nitrate content, especially in R. acetosa. Further researches should be aimed at decreasing the oxalate and nitrate content in the domesticated species and to promote the commercialization of the domesticated species.
Ceccanti, C.; Brizzi, A.; Landi, M.; Incrocci, L.; Pardossi, A.; Guidi, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1145378
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