Exploring strategies to growth wild turnip sprouts as healthy food

Background: Brassicas (Brassicaceae) are recognized as excellent sources of nutrients and bioactive compounds. Among these, wild turnip (Brassica rapa L.), holds significant promising nutritional properties owed to its abundant glucosinolates and phenolic compounds. To enhance its potential values, the application of elicitors is crucial and good strategy prompting an enrichment in the concentration of phytochemicals, as well established in other relevant Brassicas, such as broccoli. While the responses triggered by certain elicitors such as salicylic acid, methyl jasmonate, or chitosan are widely documented, little is known about the impact of electrolyzed water, an economically viable elicitor. Through elicitation strategies, the aim of this work was to unravel insights into enhancing the phytochemical content of wild turnip sprouts for potential use as healthy food, comparing with well-studied broccoli as control of the experiments. Results: Our findings revealed that wild turnip exhibited a notable higher glucosinolate (GSL) contents (487–712 mg 100 g−1 D.W.), than in broccoli sprouts. Furthermore, the use of electrolyzed water (2 vol.) boosted the accumulation of glucosinolates with significant increase up to twofolds the content. Specifically, treatments with salicylic acid (250 μM) and electrolyzed water (2 vol.) favored the significant increase of mainly aliphatic GSL (progoitrin, PRO; gluconapin, GNA; glucobrassicin, GBN). On the other hand, natural antioxidants such as of the characteristic acylated cyanidins present in wild turnip sprouts were not affected by the elicitor treatments, indicative of higher tolerance to oxidative stress in wild turnip. Conclusions: These observations underlined the potential of using electrolyzed water in wild turnips as elicitor for GSL-enriched food ingredients. Further studies will be necessary to align with the broader goal of evaluating abiotic and biotic factors affecting the phytochemical composition in mature organs not only in germinating seeds and sprouts, for agricultural performance for quality and healthy foods purposes.
Edible wild plants, Brassicas, Glucosinolates, Anthocyanins, Healthy and sustainable food
Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture. 2024 Apr 10;11(1):53