J Sci Food Agric. 2021 Jul 7. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.11420. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Beyond nutrition, fruits and vegetables can be considered as natural sources of bioactive molecules, whose beneficial effects on human health are widely recognised. To improve food quality, soilless growing systems could represent a good strategy for promoting sustainable food production chain, although nutritional and nutraceutical properties of their products should be deeply investigated. Main quality traits, volatile and non-volatile secondary metabolites of Solanum lycopersicum L., Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss and Ocimun basilicum L. grown in aquaponics system and in organic farming were quantified and compared.

RESULTS: On fresh basis, soil-grown P. crispum and O. basilicum showed significantly higher total phenolics and antioxidant activity compared to aquaponic crops, while, on dry basis, both plants showed opposite results. Soil-grown S. lycopersicum was significantly richer in total phenolics, while aquaponic one showed a higher antioxidant activity. Aquaponics induced accumulation of resveratrol in P. crispum, rosmarinic acid and myricetin in O. basilicum, and lycopene in S. lycopersicum. Among the volatile compounds, in O. basilicum, linalool was the main constituent in both treatments, while τ-cadinol represented the second constituent in aquaponic crops. Volatile profiles of P. crispum did not differ significantly between the two cultivation methods.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall quality of organic and aquaponics cultures seemed to be comparable. Results showed that aquaponic farming method can be an innovative, rapid, and sustainable way for producing quality food. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:34231921 | DOI:10.1002/jsfa.11420

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